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Comox Valley educator honoured by prime minister

Teresia Louden of Comox Valley Aboriginal Head Start has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence as part of the 2010–11 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education, MP John Duncan announced Wednesday.
Award recipients were honoured at a ceremony in Ottawa on World Teachers’ Day.
Louden established the Aboriginal Head Start program in the Comox Valley and eventually the Friday’s Child Program, the Comox Valley Aboriginal Head Start program said in a news release.
"Although she works with children throughout the day, her role is largely dedicated to parents as well, who often regard her as their mentor when they run into hurdles at home, the release added.
Louden authored a Little Book of Tips – and companion DVD – full of techniques for early childhood educators and family members that are particularly effective with children living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. 
"Teresia’s commitment, dedication and leadership in the early childhood field are nothing short of profound. Parents of young toddlers, myself included, felt very fortunate to have our children be a part of Teresia’s special and caring environment,” said an Early Childhood Care and Education faculty and department chair.
“I am thrilled today to acknowledge the outstanding contribution to early childhood education made by Teresia Louden," said Duncan (Vancouver Island North) and the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “With the youngest of our citizens benefiting from Comox Valley Aboriginal Head Start’s programs, Canada’s future is in good hands.”
This year, 26 Certificates of Excellence were presented for educational excellence at all levels, from preschool through to secondary school. All recipients have been recognized as leaders who have been exceptionally innovative in helping students excel and young children get the best possible start in life.
Certificate of Excellence winners will receive $5,000 to be shared equally between the winners and their schools or childcare institutions, as well as a certificate, a pin and a letter from the prime minister.
Industry Canada delivers this awards program in partnership with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Health Canada, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Research In Motion Limited and the RBC Foundation are corporate partners of the program.
Information on all 2010–11 award recipients along with guidelines and nomination forms for the 2011–12 awards can be found on the Prime Minister’s Awards website at www.pma.gc.ca.
— John Duncan

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