Courtney Walcott – Leadership on Social Issues

Year: 2021 — Province: Alberta
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Western Canada High School
Grades 10, 11 and 12 – English language arts and social studies
Calgary, Alberta


“Mr. Walcott is an outstanding English teacher at Western Canada High School. Since joining us at Western Canada High School in 2017, he has enhanced our English department immeasurably. He has the ability to inspire students to go beyond with his focus on supporting students in telling their stories. His students are engaged and respond enthusiastically to a teacher who is passionate about every aspect of his profession. Mr. Walcott is an extremely inclusive teacher who challenges students to think deeply about issues that matter.”


Teaching Approach

Courtney’s approach to education is based on inclusion and opportunity for all. He uses his platform as a teacher to educate the next generation of leaders about difficult topics within and beyond the curriculum. He creates a safe space for students to discuss mental health issues, race and inclusion without judgement. He also integrates learning about Canada and America’s struggle with race relations into curricular activities with music, movies, poetry, stories and more.

His practice is centered on story telling. Students are encouraged to engage with his or her own voice and tell their story. Pushing students to engage with their story means that they must not only find their voice but also learn how to share their voice.

In the Classroom

Courtney designs his classes to maximize the impact of the texts in the curriculum. He draws the real world into the classroom, using films, books, poems and music to bring in complex topics about crime, racism, wealth, ambition and greed to enhance students’ understanding of texts and tie in different topics into curricular outcomes. Courtney’s teaching style is inspired and creative – bringing, for instance, Elizabethan concepts and language into the realities of the 21st century.

The significance of social media on people’s lives cannot be underestimated. Courtney urges students to use social media responsibly, as a way to build bridges, not walls. By showing how to use digital tools to fight for causes he believes in, he goes beyond merely teaching to avoid trouble on the internet and leads students to be agents of progressive change through social media. Educators like Courtney know not to hide from the changes technology brings to our lives but use media effectively to sustain important causes and create valuable new connections among people.

Outstanding achievements

Courtney is truly a community leader. His influence is felt not just in Calgary but also globally due to the use of social media. Within the community, he works with Black Lives Matter YYC regarding Education. He engages with them in discussions with the Catholic Board to assist in their understanding of the racial incidents. In Calgary, he is deeply involved with a coalition of community members and organizations from a diverse Black, persons of colour, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized people seeking to re-evaluate City Council's relationship with the Calgary Police Services and our mental health supports.

Get in touch!

Western Canada High School
641 17th Avenue SW         
Calgary, AB  T2S 0B5
Twitter: @WesternRedhawks