Edwin Parr nominee sees opportunities to make a difference

Rahna Dad Mohammad has found her passion after coming to Canada as a refugee from Afghanistan when she was six-years-old with her family and pursuing a career in the teaching profession.

Rahna, a Grade 9-12 Social Studies teacher at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, is this year’s Edwin Parr Nominee for Red Deer Public Schools.

Each year the Alberta School Boards Association honours six outstanding first-year teachers with the Edwin Parr Teacher Award. School boards may nominate any first-year K to 12 teacher who has taught in an Alberta school jurisdiction which is a member of the ASBA.

“I came from a war torn country and one of the things that was so important in my family was education,” said Rahna. “My parents always emphasized the importance of being educated to get away from the many unfortunate things that were happening in our country. I always knew that I would eventually land in the teaching profession.”

She added when deciding to further her education, she looked at what she was most interested in.

“One of the many reasons why I chose to be a teacher is because I want to be a life-long learner. I learn something new everyday either from my colleagues or from my students. While I am a  teacher, I'm also a learner in this process.”

Rahna said her first year as a teacher has been rewarding, but it has also come with a steep learning curve.

“As a new teacher during COVID-19, I anticipated many challenges and opportunities of growth but it has been surmountable mainly because of the support I’ve had in my department and the Thurber community,” she said. “Regardless of the challenges that have come my way, I feel confident to tackle them because of my mentors and the supportive and collaborative staff at my school.”

She added she is honoured to be named this year’s Edwin Parr Nominee for Red Deer Public.

“I think more than it being a recognition of my efforts, it’s a recognition of the school that I work for and the community that I’m part of,” said Rahna, adding she has had many mentors throughout her journey. “My accomplishments have all been made possible because of the mentors in my life including my high school teachers. Having role models in my teachers growing up aspires me to be the kind of a teacher where I am personable, reliable and the go-to person for my students. I hope to reach my students beyond their academia. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is the opportunity I get to connect with my students and share experiences with them.”

Chris Good, Principal at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School said they are fortunate to have Dad Mohammad join their staff.

She is a very caring, innovative and passionate teacher. She builds great relationships with her students and their families and is always finding new ways to engage her students,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rahna said she couldn’t have asked for a better school or team to join for her first year in teaching.

“I want to say thank you to the admin at Thurber because they have been so supportive of me being a first year teacher during COVID. With special thanks to Mr. Good, who leads by example and is a constant support for me. I also want to thank my mentors at Thurber and the whole Thurber community. This recognition is a collaborative effort and I’m truly grateful for it.”