May 10, 2023
Congratulations to Dr. Wendy Klassen on receiving Association of BC Deans of Education’s (ABCDE) Teacher Educator Award and Dr. Lee Gunderson on receiving the ABCDE Teacher Advocate Award.
The Teacher Educator Award recognizes educators at the school or university level who has distinguished themselves in partnering with a teacher education program in BC. The Education Advocate award is presented to educators who have distinguished themselves as an advocate for education.
Dr. Wendy Klassen
Director, Undergraduate Programs, Okanagan School of Education
Assistant Professor, Okanagan School of Education
Dr. Klassen has been teaching for more than 40 years, beginning her career in Richmond, BC in School District 38. For the last 25 years she has made an impact on the Okanagan campus—inspiring, supporting and mentoring hundreds of pre-service teachers, mentor teachers, graduate students and field advisors. In 2013, she became the Director of Undergraduate Programs and was integral in reimagining the Bachelor of Education (BEd) program at UBC Okanagan. The BEd offers extensive field experiences and in-situ coursework, including more than 24 weeks of practical experience.
The success of these experiences can be attributed to Dr. Klassen’s commitment to developing and sustaining strong and collaborative partnerships. Dr. Klassen is also known for her teaching innovation, which involves teaching numeracy education classes in-situ at local elementary schools. Her learner-centered approach focuses on alleviating mathematics anxiety for teacher candidates, while they learn “about” teaching mathematics “through” teaching mathematics.
Dr. Lee Gunderson
Professor, Department of Language & Literacy Education
Dr. Gunderson has extensive experience in teaching various grades and subjects, as well as serving in administrative roles. At UBC, he has served as Head of two UBC Departments: Language and Literacy Education and Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to education and literacy such as the David Russell Award for research, the UBC Killam Teaching Prize and the Kingston Prize for contributions to the National Reading Conference (now LRA). He was recently in 2021 elected into the Reading Hall of Fame, an independent organization that recognizes lifetime achievements in the field of reading.
Dr. Gunderson has also been involved in various organizations related to literacy and education. He founded the BC ESL Assessment Consortium that has designed, developed, and normed 10 (Grade 2-12) English reading and one primary English oral assessment. His research focuses on the academic and language achievement of ESL and immigrant students, and he advocates against the use of deficit labels such as English as a second or foreign language (ESL) and English language learning (ELL).
The awards were announced during the ABCDE’s Teacher Education Round Table on April 27, 2023 at Thompson Rivers University.