Division News Article

Carissa Henkelman receives the Exemplary Teacher Award

April 12th, 2024

Carissa Henkelman is a teacher and part of the Kindergarten team at École Barrhead Elementary School. Carissa has been with Pembina Hills School Division for over 15 years. 

Carissa’s warm, thoughtful, organized and unwavering teaching style embodies what Kindergarten should be – a place that positively begins each child’s school journey and one in which fosters or ignites a love for learning. 

Carissa brings confidence and observant collaboration to the Kindergarten team. She is intuitive and resourceful in her methods of getting to know and understand every aspect of each of her students. Carissa is a reliable team player who can be depended on to aid in any situation and is able to handle such situations with a calm, logical and reassuring manner. She sees both the humor and feels the heartbreak in the experiences of her students. 

Carissa continually reflects on how to modify curriculum lessons and create engaging adaptations for every student to reach their highest potential in her classroom. She is thoughtful in how she incorporates fun into science and other areas of the curriculum and is skilled at balancing play-based learning with academics. Visits to her classroom may find students creating crystals on yarn, taste-testing different apple varieties to create a visual graph of the most popular choices and learning about and role-playing various community jobs such as a pretend veterinary clinic, grocery store or pizza restaurant. 

In every situation, Carissa makes learning fun for her students. She is their greatest cheerleader! You will see her beaming with excitement when her students achieve success, and she is the first to pass on sincere praise for a job well done. 

Carissa’s colleagues describe her as an absolute pleasure to work with and they feel very fortunate to work alongside her.


Carissa Henkelman received the Pembina Hills School Division Exemplary Teacher Award in March 2024.