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Leadership students celebrate with Johnston Heights Secondary teacher Harriet Tuey as former student Anthony Hope presents her with the Loran Teachers Building Leaders Award.
The moment she stepped onto the stage at Johnston Heights Secondary, it was clear Harriet Tuey is a valued and respected teacher at the school.
Once she began speaking to the dozens of students present, it became obvious why.
"I don't consider you my students, I've always considered you my children, and that's how I actually treat you," she said, prompting tears from many of those listening.
Tuey was honoured June 14th with the Loran Teachers Building Leaders Award – one of 30 awarded across Canada and the first ever to be given to a Surrey teacher.
The award is administered by the Loran Scholars Foundation. To receive it, a teacher must be nominated by a former student who has become a Loran Scholar. Anthony Hope, a 2015 Loran Scholar and former Johnston Heights Secondary student, nominated Tuey for her impact.
Hope gladly made the trip from Ottawa, where he now lives and works, to present Tuey with the award, crediting her mentorship and "many pearls of wisdom" for his continued successful journey since high school.
"She believed in me, even in moments when I doubted myself. Ms. Tuey taught me and many of my former friends and classmates… how to lead and serve with integrity," said Hope. "What sets her apart is her steadfast determination to see her students grow into responsible, civic-minded members of their community. She did this through leading by example."
Principal Cory McLaughlin also spoke about the unparalleled inspiration, guidance and growth opportunities Tuey offers students
"In my two years at Johnston Heights, I never cease to be amazed at how much passion Ms. Tuey shows for all of you," she told the crowd.
Tuey was humbled by the award, sharing she never planned to become an educator.
"In actuality, I fell into becoming a teacher and it was the best thing that ever happened to me," she said. "The most important thing was being able to make a difference in the children and students that I came into contact with."
Tuey is one of the longest-serving employees in the Surrey School District, having started here as a PE teacher more than 50 years ago. She now works as a career facilitator and leadership teacher and continues to be highly involved in organizing school events, fundraisers and arranging work experience for students.
She told Johnston Heights leadership students the only reason she has no plans to retire, is because "I really, really, truly love every one of you – even though sometimes I do have to scold you and even though sometimes I am maybe a little bit demanding.
"But I want you to be the very best you can be."