Julia MacPherson's performance while teaching for seven years in Naujaat received a ringing endorsement when she was presented with a teaching award from the Nunavut Teacher's Association in Iqaluit on April 6.
MacPherson said she was nominated for one of the Nunavut Teacher's Association awards by some of the staff members at Tuugaaruk High School.
She said they came to her almost at the end of the process and said they nominated her, so she had to sign the piece of paper they had.
“I was really shocked and very humbled,”said MacPherson.
“I read their very, very generous submission on me and I found myself quite humbled again.
“I think the fact that they even thought to nominate me was winning enough for me.
“I didn't expect to win and I felt as though the attention should be placed elsewhere because we have a lot of really amazing, hard working and dedicated teachers working in this territory, so I was quite humbled and very, very grateful to be given this award and I was surprised when I found out that I had won.”
MacPherson said she had to travel to Iqaluit earlier this month for the association's annual meeting and usually, during that time, they hold a banquet on the Saturday night which, this year, was April 6.
She said unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances of weather and mechanical issues, they didn't meet their quorum to have their meetings.
“They did, however, go ahead with the banquet and that's when I was presented with a gift, and the president of the Nunavut Teacher's Association, John Fanjoy, gave me a very heartfelt and kind introduction before he presented me with the award.
“So, again, I was very, very grateful.”
MacPherson is heading back down south at the end of the current school year, bringing her time in Naujaat to an end after spending seven years in the community.
She said she really didn't attach any extra significance to the award because she won it during her final year in Naujaat.
“I think the teachers who nominated me felt like this would be really nice if I got it, but I think they also just wanted to express their gratitude on working with me over the years.
“To me, it was a really nice gesture and a really nice thing to receive in April, just two months shy of when I'm leaving the North.
“Our principal, Aubrey Bolt, was really proud and he was really happy for me. He thought the award was well deserved, so that was nice, and its also been really nice to receive little e-mails, messages or phone calls from educators and staff who I had met over the yeas in different communities congratulating me on the award.
“That's been great, as well.”
MacPherson said she still hasn't got a job lined up for when she leaves Naujaat.
She said she does have a couple of things starting to fall in place for her, but she hasn't accepted anything yet.
“I'm just not sure what I'm going to be doing yet, but I know I am going to return to Cape Breton for the summer and then take it from thetre.
“I'm hoping I can stay in Cape Breton but, most likely, I'll be looking for a job around the Halifax area.”