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Chiasson receives teaching award

Carter Chiasson, right, is shown with Katani Julian.
Carter Chiasson, right, is shown with Katani Julian. - Saltwire

SYDNEY – Carter Chiasson, a teacher at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni, is the recipient of the 2020 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation.

Each year, the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award recognizes an inspirational and passionate Canadian music educator's impact on students and music education.

“We are thrilled to present the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award to Carter Chiasson this year to celebrate the tremendous impact he has on his students and community,” said Kristy Fletcher, executive director, MusiCounts, said in a news release.

Chiasson will receive a $10,000 cash donation, a significant contribution to the Allison Bernard Memorial High School music program; a crystal statuette based on the JUNO Award design; and will be honoured at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on March 14, as part of 2020 JUNO Week in Saskatoon.

"This is something that I feel is not just mine but something to be shared by everyone I work with, the community of Eskasoni, Unama'ki and, of course, my students,” Chiasson said.

“The successes of my music program has been a group effort from day one. More personally, it's incredibly humbling. So many teachers are deserving of this award.”

Chiasson’s role at Allison Bernard Memorial High School is teaching courses in both music and technology. He regularly uses both music and technology to help students engage with, share and celebrate their cultural identity.

Chiasson worked with one of his students, Emma Stevens, to produce a video of her singing “Blackbird” by The Beatles in her native Mi'kmaq language. Since then the video has been seen by more than a million people, and they have been invited to perform the song across Canada.

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