Archived—Recipient Bios

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Year: 1999 – Province: British Columbia

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Thomas Harapnuick

School: Prince of Wales Secondary School

Principal: A. J. Krawczyk
School Website: stargate.vsb.bc.ca/princeofwales
Grades/Subjects Taught: Social studies, geography, economics, psychology, Earth science, history, law, comparative civilizations, drama, English, English language support services, consumer education

Teaching Approach:

  • Accept all students and give them a chance to excel.
  • Make use of interactive games, projects and assignments as well as elaborate demonstrations and multimedia to bring subject matter to life. Teach with humour and passion.
  • Plan teaching around things that are happening in the local community.

Outstanding Achievements:

For a number of years, his students have consistently performed far above the provincial and district averages on provincial exams. His 1998 Geography 12 class ranked first on the provincial exam both in participation and results.

Taught students at City School, a special program for students who struggled in the regular system. Mr. Harapnuick created programs that would give these students real-life learning experiences such as doing consumer research in local stores.

His courses attract vast numbers of students. Several of these courses have been expanded to include additional classes. His psychology course had to be limited to four sections. Another course filled up as soon as students learned Mr. Harapnuick was the teacher.

Understanding the importance of other facets of school than academics, he organized a special award at the graduation ceremony to honour character. The students nominated their peers, selected the recipients and raised funds for the award.

Rave Reviews:

"Most teach for a living; Tom Harapnuick lives for his teaching." School trustee

"Without a doubt, it is the presence of a generous, caring and understanding teacher that has made me come out of my shell." Student