Each spring convocation, the Faculty of Education awards the Gold Medal to their most distinguished graduate for the academic year. For 2021, the recipient of the Faculty of Education Gold Medal is Lacey Rose.

Lacey completed her after-degree program in the Fall of 2020 with a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and a minor in Science Education. She graduates with the highest academic standing in the Faculty of Education, including nine A+ grades in her Education courses. She also excelled in her field experience placements.

Her PS III internship at Lakeview Elementary School in Lethbridge required shifting from online to in-person teaching - all of which was done with skill, exceptional planning, and care for the learning needs of the students. An administrator at her PS III school said that Lacey was “one of the most natural teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Congratulations to Lacey on this tremendous accomplishment. We spoke to Lacey about her time studying at the University of Lethbridge and her plans after graduation.

Why did you choose to become a teacher?
Growing up I always had jobs where I was teaching. Not in a classroom per se, but whether it was teaching swimming lessons or teaching dance, I was told all the time:

You should become a teacher, you’d be great!”, but I never thought that was the path for me. I don’t know why I thought that for so long, but I didn’t want to do it at all.

After I graduated with my Kinesiology degree I was going to take a Doctorate of Chiropractic in the United States, but then I hit this wall and realized it wasn’t what I was going to be passionate about. So I took a year off and reflected on what it was that I wanted to be doing, and I realized that I loved coaching and teaching swimming and dance, and so I finally decided to listen to that advice and go into teaching. And then from my very first ED 2500 experience I knew that teaching was what I wanted to do.

What was your most memorable experience at the University of Lethbridge?
Coming from a small town like Hanna, even though Lethbridge was a big city and a big university, it felt really small and there was a really tight knit community, and I really liked that. While I was studying I had the opportunity to work at the Max Bell Pool, and I loved having that opportunity to meet people outside of the Education program. I also got to interact with lots of people from the community that I saw later at schools when I was teaching so that was really great.

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
All my professors were amazing, but specifically I think taking Robin Bright’s Literacy and Language in Early Childhood Education really sparked something for me. When I started the program I thought that I wanted to do junior high or high school science, but as soon as I took her class I realized that I loved teaching “the littles”. She was someone whose classes were inspiring for me.

And then Marlo Steed was my university consultant for my PS III, and he was just super amazing. He gave me so much advice and positive reinforcement throughout my PS III, he just confirmed for me that what I was doing was what I was meant to be doing.

What is the most important lesson you learned?
Being a very Type A person, I like for things to be a specific way.

But not being scared to take a risk and make a mistake, that was something I definitely learned. Often the type of risky lessons that you are not sure how they are going to go, those are the ones that end up being the best. Not taking yourself too seriously and have fun with it, because the experience goes so fast."

And the other thing is to just take time for yourself. If you are not 100% yourself, you can’t be there for your students, and those relationships are so important. To make sure that you are taking that time to step back and do things outside of school that you enjoy, which for me is all things sport related, staying active and being outside.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I’m hoping to come back down to Lethbridge, I really love Southern Alberta. But as a new grad, right now I’m looking for a job for the fall. I would love to work in elementary, or maybe try out some other grades. I think I would like to pursue a Masters in the future, but for now I am very content with just being in the classroom.

What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their journey in the Faculty of Education?
Any opportunity that you get, whether it is specifically an opportunity through the program or any other sort of function, make sure to put yourself out there. It’s not only a great experience for you, but it’s great to network and meet new friends and teachers who will help you out in the future. Really immerse yourself in the school, and try to be a part of the community as much as you can.

Writer: CJ Tuff    
Photo: Lacey Rose


For more information on the Faculty of Education please see links below:

Education Undergraduate Society (EUS) website here
Faculty of Education Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu
Education Undergraduate Society Twitter: @uleth_eus
A collection of stories about the Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education website here
Become a Teacher video stories here

For more information please contact:

Darcy Tamayose
Communications Officer
Dean's Office • Faculty of Education
University of Lethbridge
Learn more about the Faculty of Education: Legacy Magazine (2008-2019)
Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu Website: uleth.ca/education
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