Words: Vaishnavi Mahalingam
On Thursday, February 11, one of Centennial’s biology teachers, Jason Piluk, was awarded the Centennial Teacher of the Year award. During Piluk’s fifth period class, some staff members entered his room with flowers, balloons, and cake.
When asked what steps he has taken to achieve this award, Piluk stated, “I believe every step I’ve ever taken in life, academia, and profession has moved me towards this point.”
His parents tirelessly supported his learning as a child, and he learned how to “accept, own up to, and/or overcome” his mistakes in high school.
Piluk commented that his art teacher, Mr. Hamilton, “opened [his] eyes to the inherent beauty in everything,” and “filled [his] head with ideas grander than [his] own.” Piluk also recalls his years in college and research, thanking his friends, mentors, and students who shared their insights and understandings.
“I believe this achievement, this honor, was hinged on my ability to share with my students my knowledge and life’s experiences in a direct albeit refreshing manner, my empathy for them – constantly reminding myself what it must be like ‘behind that desk,’ and, perhaps most importantly, being a wee silly (sometimes really silly!) when the moment calls for it,” concluded Piluk.
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