New Myrnam School Named in Top 10 Shortlists for World’s Best School Prizes

Last Updated: June 20, 2023By

St. Paul Education is thrilled to announce that New Myrnam School has been named in the Top 10 shortlist of the World’s Best School Prize for the Environmental Action Category. The announcement was shared at a school assembly on June 15.


The World’s Best School Prizes shine a spotlight on schools whose principals, teachers, and communities have demonstrated exemplary leadership and innovation to improve the education of their students beyond academic standards. New Myrnam School is the only Canadian school to be selected for the Top 10 shortlist.


The school’s environmental program began with a greenhouse extension project, where students studied heat transfer and made modifications to enhance efficiency, designed a rainwater harvesting system and developed a highly efficient hydroponic system.


The greenhouse extension was just the beginning of the school’s journey in developing projects focused on renewable energy. Since then they have repurposed a school bus into a net zero tiny home and transformed electric golf carts into sustainable modes of transportation. Much of the magic happens in the CTEC building, a community owned structure adjacent to the school. Through a partnership with the Village of Myrnam and support from the County of Two Hills, the school utilizes the building for hands-on and project-based learning that is linked to curriculum.


Sydney Chanasyk, a grade 9 student at New Myrnam School, was present for the announcement. “It was shocking to find out that not only were we shortlisted under the Environmental Action category, but we were also the only school from all of Canada to be selected. It is hard to comprehend that our tiny rural school was put up against schools from all over the world and was able to make the top 10. I am filled with pride and excitement for our school and I am so excited to see what comes next. We have done so much and it is incredible to see that our projects are able to be recognized on such a large scale. I am glad that people from everywhere are going to be able to learn from us and see what we have accomplished.”


In addition to being shortlisted for the World’s Best School Prize, the school has received several grants and awards. Most recently, they were the recipient of an Alberta Emerald Award, which celebrates an organization or individual’s legacy of environmental excellence in addressing and mitigating the effects of local, regional, and global environmental issues.


Principal Danielle Eriksen recognizes what a huge honor it is to recognized in this way. “Being shortlisted as one of the top 10 schools in the World’s Best School Prizes for environmental action is a testament to the teamwork and collaboration of staff and students over the last six years. At New Myrnam School, we believe in creating learning environments where students become global citizens actively engaged in finding sustainable solutions. Through a project based approach to our cross grade and cross curricular projects, our students are empowered to drive positive change in their community. We couldn’t be more proud of the work past and present students have done and the feats they have accomplished.”


Superintendent Peter Barron adds his congratulations. “New Myrnam School distinguishes itself by offering programming that is truly student centered. Their environmental focus ignites the passion of their students to learn and grow in meaningful ways. St. Paul Education is immensely proud of the school and its deep collaboration with the community.”


Board Chair Sylvie Smyl shared a congratulatory message on behalf of the Board. “The Board of Trustees is thrilled by this announcement. This nomination is a testament to the resilience, hard work and dedication of this small rural community. Collectively when we think big, collaborate and allow our students to lead in the process of education, we achieve amazing things. The New Myrnam School is truly a success story for St Paul Education and we are very proud of all of their accomplishments. These students are not only our future leaders of tomorrow but already they are our leaders of today.”


New Myrnam School is one of ten schools to have been shortlisted in the Environmental Action category. The final winner will be announced in September 2023. If the school wins, they plan to continue their efforts to transform the CTEC facility into a net-zero building and embark on other renewable energy projects.


Read more about the World’s Best School Prizes here.


Read the World’ Best School Prize press release for New Myrnam School here.


Watch the announcement video on YouTube here.

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