ATLE Award

Pillar Awards

Chosen by the ATLE Executive

Attributes of an ATLE Pillar Award Recipient:

    • Participation in Leading, learning, and Technology at a provincial level.
    • Belief in working with people at multiple levels of organizations
    • Lifelong Learner
  • continually Contributing to building capacity within K-12

Our previous recipients have been Lyle Roberts, Edna Dach, Erwin Lowen, Gary Spence, and John Percevault.

This year we are honoring two well-deserved recipients.

This summer, after 31 years as a distinguished educator within two school systems, Livingstone  Range and Foothills School Division, James Aitchison turned the page on his educational career.

James began his educational journey as a substitute teacher in the spring of 1983. That fall he became the Principal/Teacher at Ewelme Hutterite Colony in a multi-grade school for a one year stint. The following year he assumed a mainstream teaching assignment and has taught at all grade levels including Adult Education.  In 1998, James forged a new path working as the Technology Integration Facilitator, Technology Supervisor and finally the Director of Technology for Livingstone Range School Division. In 2005, he became a Learning and Technology Consultant with Alberta Education. Since 2006, James provided exemplary service and leadership for Foothills School Division (FSD) as Director of Learning Technologies

His achievements include nominations for the Mount Royal College Distinguished Faculty/Teaching Award, as well as his leadership on numerous technology advisory committees.  He is certified in public engagement, the PATH planning process and as an Influencer ™ and Crucial Conversations ™ Instructor.  James’ commitment, caring and enthusiasm have been assets greatly appreciated by schools, administrators and staff across Foothills SD and the Province.  He epitomizes life-long learning, is dedicated to research-informed practice, making a difference in the lives of children, and also has a terrific sense of humor.  I also personally believe that he is actually 75 years old and is just so dedicated to clean living and his personal health that he looks like he is 40.

Dr. Del Litke, former Superintendent of Foothills School Division, made these observations of James’ tenure at Foothills SD. “James was fundamental in the cultural shift within our learning technology department in turning the focus from ‘the stuff’ to the student learning. His footprints leave a legacy of innovation and creativity in the best interests of kids.”

Reflecting back on his career, James says:

“When I was a kid leaving for University my brothers and I made a pact. We were in the basement of my parents’ home laughing about some nonsense and my youngest brother put the thought out there. We talked back and forth for a while and we came up with three things to try to do every day:

  1. a)      Challenge ourselves
  2. b)      Learn something new
  3. c)      Do something nice for a stranger

I’ve kept that in front of me for most of my days… and though I don’t always succeed in checking all three off every day, it’s a conscious part of who I am.

Ironically, the next page that James tackled in retirement was to return to education as James is currently serving as the Managing Director of Learning Technologies at Elk Island Public Schools… a significant gain for Elk Island Public Schools, education and kids.

Thank you James!