Retired Abbotsford educator wins award from ABCDE

Susan Antak received this year's Education Advocate Award from the Association of BC Deans of Education

Abbotsford's Susan Antak (centre) is the winner of the 2015 Education Advocate award from the Association of BC Deans of Education. Supporting her at the awards ceremony are (left to right) Tracy Ryder Glass

Abbotsford's Susan Antak (centre) is the winner of the 2015 Education Advocate award from the Association of BC Deans of Education. Supporting her at the awards ceremony are (left to right) Tracy Ryder Glass

A retired Abbotsford educator received this year’s Education Advocate Award from the Association of BC Deans of Education (ABCDE) earlier this month.

Susan Antak worked as a principal at the Abbotsford School District and teacher for more than 30 years.

She has a long record of excellence in leadership, mentorship, and community engagement.

Antak began her teaching career as a primary and music teacher in the Nelson School District in the late 1970s. In 1989, she moved to the Abbotsford School District. She volunteered on numerous organizations, such as the Local Learning Resources Committee, Early Literacy Committee, and Abbotsford Family Literacy Advisory Board.

Antak took on the role as an administrator in 1995. As principal at Harry Sayers elementary school in 2002, she worked to engage a school community that served 500 students, mostly made up of new Canadians. Antak brought in translators to connect with parents and babysitters to encourage parent participation at the school. This helped staff learn how to better support students.

Antak also helped develop a family centre for preschoolers and their caregivers and a preschool program that ran out of the school.

As a district principal, Antak supported and mentored teachers as well, and continues to do that in retirement.

“She has extended her involvement with UFV’s Teacher Education Department by becoming a faculty mentor,” said Sheryl MacMath, department head of teacher education at UFV, who helped nominate Antak for the award. “Each year, she mentors teacher candidates during their field experience. Candidates gush over Susan, commenting on her unyielding support, tremendous expertise, and bubbly enthusiasm.”

The ABCDE Awards were given out Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

Winners received an engraved plaque and a cheque for $500.