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Making Impactful Connections

Ms. Riddell was nominated by one of her past students for the 2021 Loran Teachers Building Leaders Award
Congratulations to our own Ms. Sarah Riddell who has been awarded one of the 2021 Loran Teachers Building Leaders Award! Ms. Riddell was nominated by one of her past students from Stratford Hall for this award that recognizes teachers who have made significant positive impacts on a scholar’s growth as a leader. 

“It was very surprising, but lovely at the same time,” said Ms. Riddell about when she found out that her past student Margaret had nominated her. 

Making impactful connections, Ms. Riddell says this is the reason she enjoys teaching. 

“These relationships are foundational for the kids, and I’ve had lots of students write to me years later to tell me what they are up to, and I feel such a sense of pride knowing I had a tiny part in them becoming these awesome individuals,” she said. “It’s really cool to see them develop over time, I think that’s why teachers teach. It’s about the content, but it’s also because we love to work with kids and we love to see them develop and grow.” 

Ms. Riddell joined the GNS community this year and has been teaching Language and Literature, as well as being the staff sponsor for the Senior and Middle School Track and Field teams. She has been a teacher for 11 years and prior to working here was working for Stratford Hall and the Greater Victoria School District. 

“I think I always had teaching in the back of my mind,” she said. “It was just such a natural fit and I never looked back. I’m one of those lucky people that feels like they chose correctly the first time.” 

For Ms. Riddell, her favourite part in her teaching day is when she gives students a little bit of information to work with and then watches the collaboration between the students and how they engage with what they are given. 

“I love when my classes go in unexpected directions, so if I give them a set of lines to annotate or to examine, and they find something I hadn’t even thought of,” she explained. “Or they highlight something that maybe I wouldn’t have highlighted for them, and we go in this totally different direction. I love to see what they pull out when they are working with each other.” 

Ms. Riddell says she has been enjoying her first year of teaching at GNS, whether it be interactions with staff or students. 

“The kids here are really special, I truly mean that,” she said. “They are just wonderful kids to work with. I look forward to each of my classes for different reasons. I love that I was teaching Grade 9 because you get to build those foundational skills, and the Grade 12s you’re operating at a high level, and I love to see how they came together and supported each other.” 
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