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For details of the awards and the nomination process, please click the links below.

Carolyn Dieleman Award

Carolyn Dieleman has been instrumental in shaping the field of ESL in Alberta. Her work has helped to create a professional environment founded on the implementation and sharing of new ideas, new approaches and innovative programs.

The Carolyn Dieleman Award celebrates individuals who have made an impact on the delivery of and access to innovative and quality language and ESL literacy programs in Alberta.


Submit an award nomination to recognize individuals or teams whose innovations have contributed to the advancement and development of English language learning and ESL literacy in Alberta.

  1. Include the signed nomination consent form below.
  2. Include the nomination summary that highlights the individual's/team's innovative contribution to the field of ESL.

Please provide concrete examples of how the following has been demonstrated:

  1. Include a letter of support for the nomination.


Previous recipients of this award have been:

Lisa Rochman
Bonnie Nicholas
Eye on Literacy - Karen Bradley, Doreen Dean, Elsie Johnson
Maroro Zinyemba
Debbie Severinsen
Diana Agudelo
Learning English with CBC - Barbara Edmondson & Justine Light
Student Engagement Centre - Andrew Augustine, Zuzana Buchanan, Barbara Edmondson and Olivia Wall

ATESL Lifetime Membership Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize ESL professionals who have made exemplary contributions to the Teaching English as a Second Language field in Alberta. When awarded, recipients receive a life membership in ATESL at the AGM held at the provincial conference

Previous recipients of the ATESL Lifetime membership are:

Wendy Chambers
Tracey Derwing
Carolyn Dieleman
Jaye Fredrickson
Charlotte Gaffney
Sara Gnida
Laura Ho
Tom Jiry
Liz Karra
Justine Light
Barbara Penner
Marian Rossiter
Virginia Sauve
Ivan Sundal
Silvia Rossi
Sheri Rhodes

The Dawn Seabrook de Vargas Fellowship

ATESL is pleased to announce that the Dawn Seabrook de Vargas Fellowship has been reinstated through a generous donation by Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES). To assist you in the nomination process for the Dawn Seabrook de Vargas award, the following provides information about the award and the criteria the ATESL and AWES Boards will use to select the award recipient.

About the Award

Dawn Seabrook de Vargas was one of the founding members of ATESL and served the TESL field tirelessly for almost 30 years in a broad range of subject areas from assessment, community education, cross cultural education, plain language and, of course, Essential Skills, which became a lasting interest. She was not afraid of breaking new ground in a variety of areas and her success in every endeavour was secured by her lively enthusiasm and solid knowledge and wisdom. Dawn is remembered as a kind colleague full of energy, compassion, and ideas, and as someone who was always interested in creating exciting learning opportunities for students.

The Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society is honouring the memory of Dawn Seabrook de Vargas with an award for excellence in her name. This award is to recognize outstanding contributions and service in the field of ESL and Essential Skills in Alberta. The award is open to both instructors and program administrators who are ATESL members involved in adult ESL and Essential Skills in the province. The Dawn Seabrook de Vargas Fellowship will disburse one $500 award each year as warranted by nominations.

The Dawn Seabrook de Vargas award is given to an ESL professional (instructor or program administrator) who, during his or her career, has contributed significantly in one or more of the following areas:

To be eligible for the award, the nominee must be involved in adult ESL and Essential Skills in Alberta and be an ATESL member in good standing. The award will be presented at the ATESL Conference during the AGM by the chair of the AWES Board.

Previous recipients of the Dawn Seabrook de Vargas award are:

2009 — Lorene Anderson
2010 — Margaret Armstrong, Judy Hasinoff, Shelley McConnell, Helen Sommer-Longshore
2011 — Elsie Johnson, Hetty Roessingh
2012 — Cindy Messaros
2013 — Carol Smyth, Allison Dennis
2016 - Sue Oguchi
2017 - Daniel Stark
2018 - Helen Lewis
2019 - Maureen Souply

Nomination Guidelines

Each Local, through the Local co-chairs, and/or the ATESL membership at large will be able to submit to the ATESL Board a single name for nomination. The nominator(s) need to be prepared to explain how the potential recipient fits the guidelines as identified above and the ways in which the nominee represents the ideals and practice of Dawn Seabrook de Vargas. The nomination will be submitted to the Board on the official nomination form and includes the name of the nominee and support for that nomination of no more than one page in length. Providing clear examples of how the nominee has contributed significantly in one or more of the following: Innovation, Contribution and /or Collaboration with respect to language training and Essential Skills will assist the Board in its deliberations.


All nominations for the Dawn Seabrook de Vargas fellowship will be considered by the ATESL Board and one member of the AWES Board, and evaluated based on the award guidelines above.


The ATESL Board agrees to review the nomination and selection process for this Fellowship once per annum.

Please download the nomination form below and email it to