Five North Isand College Instructors receive International Teaching Excellence Awards

The National Institute for Staff and Organization Development is dedicated to the continued improvement of teaching and learning

Five North Island College instructors have been selected to receive prestigious National Institute for Staff and Organization Development’s Excellence Awards.

NIC instructors Roger Albert, Laurie Bird, Ken Jackson, Laura Johnston, and Betty Tate will be honoured at NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, held in Austin, Texas later this month.

The National Institute for Staff and Organization Development (NISOD) is dedicated to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success, and has been hosting an annual ceremony to recognize Excellence Award recipients who represent the best in community college education since 1989.

Dr. Evelyn Waiwaiole, the Suanne Davis Roueche Director of NISOD says, “The Excellence Awards are an annual recognition of what is good about community colleges.  Celebrating those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to celebrating each year.”

Laura Johnston, Aboriginal Education Advisor at the Campbell River campus, and English Instructor at both the Comox Valley and Campbell River campuses, excels in building community relationships with the First Nations in the region and is the founder of the very successful Indigenous Voices & Visions series.  She is motivated by the power of education to inform, empower and ultimately heal, and  considers it an honor to witness students realize their own voice and potential.

Ken Jackson, Mathematics and Adult Basic Education Instructor, is the epitome of a student-focused instructor who teaches enthusiastically, energetically and with a sense of humour that builds comfort, rapport, confidence and success among his students.  He is continually inspired by his students’ courage to overcome obstacles and states that he considers it “a privilege to help and encourage them to enjoy learning and finally succeed.”

Betty Tate, Instructor and Co-Department Chair, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, is inspired by her students and colleagues. “I have learned humility, patience, empathy, integrity and how much of a privilege it is to participate in a person’s learning journey,” explains Tate.  Her focus on excellence in programming and service to communities and to the College is without a doubt why she was an exceptional candidate for this award of excellence.

Laurie Bird, Instructor, Practical Nursing Program and Department Chair, Practical Nursing and Health Care Assistant Programs, has been a leader locally, provincially and nationally for her program areas.  Laurie states that she is constantly inspired by her students, who “bring rich life experiences, cultural history and enthusiasm for new ways of looking at the world and their chosen area of study.” Her commitment to excellence is well-known by her students and colleagues throughout the province.

Over the past 30 years, Roger Albert, Instructor, Humanities and Social Science, has epitomized excellence in post-secondary education.  With a focus on teaching critical thinking, Roger is well-known for his use of humor to keep students’ attention.  An early innovator in distance education, active in community based social science research and a strong advocate for arts culture, Roger’s energy and enthusiasm has inspired countless students, colleagues and community stakeholders.

Excellence is a quality or talent which surpasses ordinary standards and North Island College is proud to have instructors whose teaching and leadership is internationally recognized.   For more information about North Island College or its programs go to