Venture Educators win Prestigious Rozema Award

Most teachers want their students to be excellent. But what does that mean?

In 2016, Cardus Education launched the John Rozema Teaching Excellence Award to discover and celebrate excellent educators within the Ontario Christian school system.

Beyond academic performance, excellence includes nurturing student character, engaging the local community, and improving school culture.

In 2018, Richard Van Egmond, Jared Patus (Group) and Jonathan DeVries (Individual)  received this prestigious Award for Teacher Excellence and were recognized for their excellence and ongoing investment into the life of a Christian school community and a positive public contribution to the common good.

Vocatio framed within a Christian telos is not only the ‘good-life’ but it is a gift for the common good of all society as well. And so when we thought of developing a program with these two pillars (vocatio and telos) as
the foundation, it was agreed that this kind of program was a must. However, it doesn’t matter how much we believe in a program, in order for it to become something of value it depends on the excellence of the people to make it run.

Our school is committed to helping students cultivate their character through learning for lives of service to God. We focus our learning on going deeper into content and mastery of skills, and further out into the community to connect with experts and find ways to bless others with our learning. We believe this challenges students to grow their character and focuses their learning on serving others as active kingdom builders. This team works tirelessly and diligently in providing these types of meaningful learning experiences that help our students live into this learning mission.

Richard Van Egmond, Jared Patus hold the role of exposing our students to the ‘real-life’ world, where our student’s learning takes hold and becomes practiced through internships and mentoring. Their passion and purpose in this mission remarkable. While both of these educators have other responsibilities at the school, it is their role in the Venture program that earned the Group Excellence in Teaching Award.

What is amazing about startup programs like this one is that it needs to be worked at with more energy than the other regular programs. This program is innovative, it is intrapreneurial and it is a blessing the students and partners that are in the program.  Richard and Jared live out their worldview not only in the words they use, or the shiny brochures they produce but in their devotions they lead, by the way they journey alongside the teens in their program and how they deeply desire to see their students find their calling.

The students in this program experience first-hand what it is to be loved and cared for deeply as children of God. These educators work hard to know each of the students well, to execute exceptional learning experiences in their program and to support the students in their vocational wayfinding.

Richard and Jared expertly weave character, learning, and service throughout the work they do in the Venture program and their projects and curriculum development is an example of this. For example, some of the largest, most impressive and broader community-impact projects in our school over the last 5 years have come out of this program, ie: our Disc Golf Course, and the Beach Volleyball project. We cannot underestimate the impact of the nominee’s daily journey alongside their students in shaping and challenging growth in each of their students’ characters.

See Also: MegaBloc Innovators win John Rozema Education Award