A shout-out and thank you!

Rural FuturesI have had big fun since my last post. March 3-5, I attended the 2nd Annual Rural Education Symposium held right here in Canmore, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre. Non-urban school boards from around Alberta came together to consider issues that affect us all. Many school districts find their student population shrinking – this impacts the diversity of curriculum that can be offered. The Minister of Education, MLA Jeff Johnson, joined us to hear about concerns and successes. mar 13 2013 007

There was much to mull over. One of the most intriguing ideas is that these school boards may well be some of the most forward-thinking and innovative in the province:  there is no choice to be otherwise and yet still provide students what they need. Now its worth has been established,  Alberta Rural Education Symposium looks like it will be a welcome annual event.

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Your distinguished panel of judges L-R: Ms. Michelle McDonell, teacher; Mr. Doug Purkis, teacher (ret.); The Snacketeria Lady, all the way from Exshaw!; and Mr. Soukas, community member (owner: Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub, Banff)

March 13th, I went to Iron Chef competition, held in Ms. Susan Reid’s Foods class at Banff Community High School. Above, Ms. Reid introduces the judges and explains the event. The not-so-secret ingredient was…EGGS.EGGS mar 13 2013 097

And they were off! With just 30 minutes to produce delicious recipes: Pasta Carbonara, Breakfast Burrito, Pad Thai, Egg Tarts and Mini Florentine Frittatas, there’s no time to waste. Beating, chopping, frying, boiling, baking, dicing, spicing,

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Interesting to note – iPads and laptops were used to reference the recipes. Back in my day, the height of technology was a stand for the cookbook – version 2.0 had a clip to hold the correct page open. mar 13 2013 104Room 122 began to fill up with the aromas of garlic, lime, and simmering vegetables. The dishes were served up to the judges, who dug in. I was able to sample the Pasta Carbonara, prepared by Tommy Soukas, two-time and defending champ, and the Pad Thai, from Mr. Ian Higginbottom. Both dishes were yummy. The judges would have a tricky task, but for the excellent assessment sheet with rubrics Ms. Reid had provided.

And so, the winner – by half-a-point – the Mini Florentine Frittatas from Sage and Sady. Here they are, with the coveted Iron Chef apron. A good time was clearly had by all. Thanks for inviting me Ms. Reid, and thanks everyone for making me feel so at home. mar 13 2013 154

About Esmé Comfort

My husband Jim and I moved to the Bow Valley in 1980, settling in Canmore in 1983. Both my children were born in Canmore and attended K -12 in Canadian Rockies Public Schools District (CRPS), French Immersion. For the past six years I served as vice-chair of the board. Alberta Government support to the CRPS Inspiring Hearts & Minds initiative created opportunities for provincial, national and international outreach. In the past I held positions on the Canmore Daycare Board, the preschool board, and various school councils/PACs; I served as president of the local chapter of Canadian Parents for French for five years and sat on the provincial board for two. I currently sit on the board of the Canmore Folk Music Festival, work full time at an events management firm and edit, copy-edit and proofread on contract. My husband and I ran a small main street business for 18 years: supply and install floor wall and window coverings.
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