Sturgeon student off to nationals
A Grade 12 student from Sturgeon Composite High School is off to a national skills competition after becoming the Alberta champion last week.
Brittney Yaggey, 18, won gold last week at the Alberta provincial Skills Canada competition in Edmonton. Just days before celebrating her graduation, Yaggey beat out eight other competitors to claim victory in the workplace safety category, which involved a written test, a hazard identification segment and an oral presentation on health and safety.
“It’s big news,” said principal Brian Brigden. “She got a special announcement in my grad speech on Saturday. Any time you can take first place in Alberta, it’s a pretty big thing.”
Yaggey is now off to the nationals in Charlottetown, P.E.I., which take place May 20 to 23. Yaggey placed fourth in the competition last year.
That experience helped her this time around, Brigden said.
“She dedicated herself this year to working on that. That was her goal and she succeeded,” he said.
The Skills Canada championships require students to complete time-limited projects in various technology and trade areas that include baking, bricklaying, mechanics and hair dressing. The competition has two levels: high school and post-secondary.
Alberta’s teachers voted heavily in favour of asking Premier Ed Stelmach to pull back from a controversial human rights bill that’s currently before the legislature.
Bill 44 seeks to enshrine sexual orientation as a protected right under Alberta’s human rights legislation but it also provides an opt-out clause for parents who wish to exclude their children from “subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation.”
More than 400 teachers discussed the bill Saturday at their annual representative assembly, with all but two voting in favour of a resolution to ask legislators to change the bill.
Teachers have a number of concerns. For one, they claim that interpretation of the bill is “entirely subjective, placing teachers and school boards at unreasonable risk of prosecution.” They also feel the bill will have a “chilling effect” on spontaneous classroom discussions and goes against the province’s policy to teach controversial issues.
The bill passed second reading last Wednesday and Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett said that he’s more sure that the bill is the right thing to do than he was two weeks ago.
Earlier this month, the ATA joined the Alberta School Boards Association, the Alberta School Councils’ Association and the College of Alberta School Superintendents in a joint statement that the provisions in Bill 44 relating to education are unnecessary, unworkable and harmful to student learning.
The four organizations want to work together to ensure that parents know they can already exclude their children from religion and human sexuality instruction under the School Act.