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2022 Sheelagh Nolan Award Recipient

The Sheelagh Nolan Award for Excellence in Teaching is a prestigious award that honours the devotion and perseverance of the late Sheelagh Nolan. Sheelagh was an active contributor to many school and community causes. Sheelagh’s son, Patrick, is on the Autism Spectrum and was always Sheelagh’s greatest inspiration. With this award, we celebrate her legacy of support and her championing of excellence in education.

2022 Sheelagh Nolan Award recipient Alanna MacLellan-Mansell is a dedicated educator at the Inverness Education Centre-Academy in the Strait Regional Centre for Education. She is committed to fostering growth and maximizing the potential of Autistic students by creating an inclusive classroom that prioritizes her student’s best interests. 

Alanna’s success as an educator is accredited to her optimism toward transparent communication with the parents of Autistic students. This collaboration is important to discover tailored strategies which is a crucial factor in positive school life for all learners.  

Alanna delivers inclusive and engaging material for everyone in the classroom. Her classroom is designed to foster relationships between Autistic students and their peers by creating a nurturing environment that encourages potential friendships. 

The passion Alanna exhibits as an educator shined when one of her Autistic students went through challenging times last year due to an accident. She kept in contact with the student’s family, displaying sincere concern for their recovery. To ensure their return to school was positive, she prepared a card signed by the entire school and decorated the student’s desk. Due to the accident, the student missed the holiday concert, and Alanna arranged a special performance with the entire class upon their return.  

Alanna’s enthusiasm and dedication to her students feed into every aspect of her role as an educator, which in turn maximizes the potential of her Autistic students. 

Learn more about Autism Nova Scotia’s awards.