Twice a year the Board of Directors recognizes staff and students for exemplary work, leadership, or contributions to the school community. This June, the Board was honoured to present Grade 12 student Thomas and teacher Becky Funk with this special honour!
We are excited to announce Becky Funk as the recipient of the Exemplary Practice award for her work as a Music teacher and leadership with FestivARTS. Grade 12 Student Thomas D. was honoured as the recipient of the Student Showcase award for his creativity in the drama program and collaboration in the school community.
Exemplary Practice: Becky Funk
The recipient of the Board’s Exemplary Practice Award for June 2021 is Ms. Becky Funk. Her colleagues describe Becky as an innovative thinker who strives to create unique learning experiences for her students.
Amidst the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, and her daily responsibilities as a Music and Leadership teacher, Becky imagined and created a contemporary virtual arts festival called FestivARTS. Music students from CA and various provinces, American and Canadian music clinicians, a composer, and music teachers came together virtually for two days in May to learn, connect, create, and perform together. This fully virtual musical event was made possible by the pandemic, and a continued, borderless event is imagined for the future.
An event like FestiVARTS is not something that can be accomplished in isolation, and Becky worked hard to engage staff and students and build advocates for the concept. Mayor Naheed Nenshi provided virtual greetings to kick off the event, and a team of more than five staff volunteers facilitated the event over the May weekend. This required hours of planning, collaborative organization, and communication that Becky lead with grace and positive energy.
Ms. Funk continues to take on more than her teaching responsibilities and has also been leading concert and funk bands virtually for more than a year. She worked to establish a 4 and 8-week Composer in Residence for her students, providing virtual access to additional outside experts.
Becky is an inspiration to the CA community with her positive energy and ability to embrace the challenges that come her way.
Student Showcase: Thomas Dunsmore
The recipient of the Board’s Student Showcase Award for June 2021 is Grade 12 student, leader, actor, director, and CASE Co-President, Thomas Dunsmore.
Thomas is a hardworking, self-motivated and extremely creative person. His creativity has shone in the drama program over the years, on and off the stage. Most recently he was even recognized for his work on the play “SOS” by the International Theatre Society.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas was determined to ensure students had a Senior High drama department showcase. As a true leader he directed, designed, filmed, edited, and created all the promotional materials to go with the Senior High production, “Check Please,” which can be viewed on the Calgary Academy YouTube page.
His teachers and fellow students have been positively impacted by his school spirit, love for drama and overall commitment to collaboration inside and outside the classroom. He has actively participated in strategic planning sessions every year since 2017, serves as Co- President of the Calgary Academy Student Executive (CASE), and was an active member on this year’s graduation committee. Prior to restrictions put in place by the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas has been an active CA Ambassador, volunteering at tours and other Admissions- related events.
Thomas’s team player attitude and positive energy along with his kind and honest nature is contagious. He is an excellent role model for other students and is an exemplary Calgary Academy student. The entire CA community will miss him greatly as he attends the University of British Columbia this fall.