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Humberview Secondary School teacher wins award

May 30, 2019   ·   0 Comments


A teacher at Humberview Secondary School was one of three of people named as a recipient in the Greatest High School Teachers contest. 

Jaclyn Haber, a family studies and English teacher at Humberview won the award. She was nominated by Alana Gledhill, a student studying social service work at Humber College’s Orangeville Campus. 

The competition was developed for Humber College students to nominate and recognize teachers who have gone the extra mile to help them with their academics, personal lives and discover their talents and interest. 

“I nominated my teacher because in my personal opinion she went above the expectations of a teacher,” said Alana Gledhill. “And she did it out of the kindness of her heart.” 

Haber, Jenny Strange from Youville Centre and David Braun from Welland Centennial Secondary School received a plaque at Humber’s Greatest High School Teacher reception recently, commemorating their hard work and dedication to their students. 

Paying it forward, the teachers are then asked to choose a current high school student to receive a full tuition scholarship to Humber in the name of the Greatest High School Teacher for the following academic year. 

“Winning that award, was probably one of my life highlights,” said Haber. I wasn’t expecting it.”

Haber said it was very touching to her, to be nominated, and is excited to choose a student for a full-ride scholarship. 

She taught Gledhill in family studies, English and was her softball coach. She said Gledhill was meticulous, focused on her studies and hard working. 

“I got to know Alana a little bit better in an event that changed her life, forever,” said Gledhill.

While Gledhill was attending Humberview, she was in the back seat of a car during the lunch hour. Gledhill was involved in a tragic car accident, sustained a broken neck and came inches away from a full paralysis. She used to wear a neck halo and was unable to attend classes at the high school because of struggles from the injury.

Haber started homeschooling and tutoring Gledhill when she wasn’t coaching the team. 

“I would visit her at her house and I would go around the school and collect her homework from the other teachers,” said Haber. “She was taking Phys Ed., travel and tourism, English and family studies; 

Haber taught Gledhill lessons and collect her homework to bring back to her teachers.

“I was a correspondent for her school and her home,” said Haber.

Haber said she was drawn to education because she always wants to help people. She said that there were about two months left of the school year when the message came out that Gledhill was unable to complete her studies. It was a no brainer for Haber to help one of her students.

“I actually offered to help without really thinking about what happened if I didn’t help,” said Haber. “Nobody else had stepped up. I know she had a lot of struggles going on and she felt, based on what I read, abandoned by everybody. For me, it was something that I always try to do. I always try to accommodate. I am supportive of my colleagues, students and my family.”

Sue Fried, principal at Humberview said Haber is one of the most involved teachers in the school, in a promotional video.

“She has a huge heart for kids,” said Fried. “She works really hard to make sure she has every resource she can to make a kids’ life better.

“I think if you ask many of her students, they would choose her for an award like this.”

Gledhill said it meant a lot to her that Haber tutored her in all her subjects.

“She offered to help me so I wouldn’t fall behind in school which I am eternally grateful for,” said Gledhill.

Haber said she was committed to Gledhill preserving that semester. She, however, gives a lot of credit to Gledhill for pushing through.

“It really comes down to her being focused, her being committed and her determination and her passion,” said Haber. “She’s really impressive. Even though it was me that won the award, believe me, what she did was extraordinary to make education her priority and stick to it every single day, through her headaches and pain that she was dealing with.”

Gledhill said she was overwhelmed with happiness when she founded out Haber won.

“No one deserves to be recognized more than her,” said Gledhill.  

Haber said teachers make important connections with students that are priceless.

“Sometimes when a student needs somebody the most, they would turn to a teacher and look to them for advice or guidance or inspiration,” said Haber. “It’s such a beautiful career.”

Haber said she teachers should not be afraid to find inspiration anywhere, whether through a colleague, a course, an idea or resource.”

“We’re not competitors,” said Haber. “The more we get inspired by each other and the more we grow as educators, the more people will be able to influence in a positive way.”

She also suggests teachers make choices from a place of love and compassion.

“Teaching isn’t only about lessons and homework,” said Haber. “Often our students need more than that, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you bring your heart in what you do, it will take you to meaningful places and it will enrich the experience for everyone, particularly our most vulnerable students.”



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