HPSD nominates McLeod for education award

High Prairie Freson Bros. manager Steve McLeod, right, accepts his Friends of Education Award nomination from High Prairie School Division West End Trustee Karin Scholl.

High Prairie School Division has selected Steve McLeod as their 2022 nominee for the Friends of Education Award.
McLeod is the manager of High Prairie Freson Bros., a strong supporter of the community for more than 30 years, says a Sept. 21 HPSD news release.
The award is presented by the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA). Each zone selects one winner.
The award recognizes individuals and organizations who are committed to improving education for students and how they have made an impact to education.
The winner of the northwest zone of the ASBA will be announced at the fall general meeting Nov. 20-22.
As store manager the past four years, McLeod has been directly responsible for continued support of HPSD schools and students.
McLeod and his staff have partnered with HPSD schools for many years as part of the work experience and the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). The programs are important opportunities where students can take an active role in their path toward career exploration.
Potential employer partners need to understand the employer’s critical role in training employees to work safely and be diligent, dependable and loyal.
Accepting and working with students with no jobsite experience is not for the faint of heart. With time, patience and support, HPSD students become valuable community members as well as workplace assets.
Quite simply, students are a work in progress and those employment opportunities help students understand who they are and what they have to offer the world.
Countless students have benefited from the workplace coaching Freson Bros. staff have provided.
In addition, students are able to earn an income and credits toward their high school diploma.
Freson Bros. provides a very helpful orientation and they work closely with new employees until they are skilled in their job.
McLeod has always been an enthusiastic supporter of education in general and at E.W. Pratt High School in particular. He is generous with access to his store for school and community groups.
As well, Freson Bros. often contributes to fundraising initiatives and is very generous to a wide variety of community groups.
Every year, McLeod has stepped up and offered employment positions to HPSD students.
“We entered into a discussion with Steve last year to determine whether Freson Bros. could accept an apprenticeship student in its bakery,” the news release says.
“Steve set about building an apprenticeship opportunity with the store bakery manager and regional bakery manager – the program became a critical step in the pathway to career exploration for our beginning apprentice.”
The female student who embarked on her training experience received high praise for her progress and skill development.
McLeod understands how work experience and RAP are extensions of educational programs that students have been part of through high school.
He encourages students to become the best they can be while making it clear that schooling is critically important.
McLeod is also always able to make himself available to discuss student issues, needs and supports.

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