Premier's Awards

I had the honour of working with many excellent people during my time with Alberta Education, and we were recognized four times with Premier's Awards of Excellence, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010.

The Accountability Pillar Online Reporting Initiative (APORI)
Alberta Education

Back Row: L to R: Richard Evans, Stephen Mitchell, Kurian Panjikaran, Corey Klemmer, Madura Attanayake
Middle Row: Luke Kornelsen,  Jolanta Wojcik, Samuel Radke,.Raj Gill, Ray Storie
Front Row: Sharon Campbell, Judy Cui, Ed Stelmach (Premier of Alberta), Aziza Jirvaj, Kathy Wang

This is my proudest PAE Award.  The APORI project finally was recognized as a key component of the education system in Alberta.  At this point, APORI allowed principals, superintendents or other key stakeholders to securely create novel reports for their schools or jurisdictions.  The online interface allowed for selection of sub-groups of students (e.g. specific special needs coding, gender etc.) and created unique reports showing the results for that particular school or Board, but also the corresponding provincial numbers.  Thus, the tool became a research tool, along with being a required component of reporting for annual reporting.  The APORI project enabled and empowered individuals to actually explore the data in locally relevant ways, which allowed for understanding of the performance data that was not available before without custom contracted services.  For the first time, schools and boards could test their hypotheses about why performance was better than expected, or lagged expectations, in real-time, with a minimum of work.  Thus, plans could be targeted directly to alleviate any areas that were in need of attention, and areas of strength could be explored to provide "promising practices" to other schools and boards to maximize learning.

L to R: Stephen Mitchell, Ed Stelmach (Premier of Alberta), Judy Cui

The Accountability Pillar Online Reporting Initiative’s (APORI) goal was to design an online tool to compute performance measures and generate detailed reports that met Accountability Pillar requirements to determine educational progress in jurisdictions and schools.
A project team consisting of members from Performance Measurement and Reporting and Information and Technology Management branches designed and implemented the tool.
The APORI reports are used by more than 70 school authorities and over 2,000 schools, are comprehensive and interactive, and are based on 16 key Accountability Pillar measures. They give summarized and detailed information for all levels of the education system. The reporting system is flexible and allows users to create custom reports in multiple formats with intuitive hyperlinks. Furthermore, it has provided Alberta Education with:
  • a redesigned data mart;
  • a model within the ministry for data/system architecture;
  • key measures reported in a single reporting system;
  • common measurement across all levels of the system;
  • aggregated data with a five-year history;
  • course-by-course evaluation;
  • consistent pre-burst reports for all schools and boards;
  • pre-populated templates for planning and reporting; and
  • detailed information to support decision-making and planning.
This reporting system has quickly become indispensable, and surveys of the client and key stakeholders indicate high levels of satisfaction with the comprehensiveness of information and the usefulness of reports. In addition, the APORI project received national recognition when it was awarded a silver medal at the 2008 Government Technology Exhibition and Conference in Ottawa.
Sharon Campbell
Judy Cui
Aziza Jivraj
Steve Mitchell

Accountability Pillar Online Reporting Initiative (APORI) - Team Pictures

Demonstrating Excellence in the K to 12 Education System
Alberta Education


Back Row - L to R: Raj Gill, Kerry Henke (Deputy Minister, Education), Keith Bowen, Stephen Mitchell
Front Row - L to R: Sharon Campbell, Ed Stelmach (Premier of Alberta)

This PAE was primarily the recognition of the reporting structure and evaluation mechanisms that we produced for the Accountability Pillar.  These designs would be ported into the APORI project into a fully-interactive, user-exploration tool.

  • This team worked with a variety of stakeholders to design a new method of measuring educational progress over time while still identifying areas for improvement.
  • Together, this team was able to develop a system that’s accountable to parents, the public and the legislature.

Supporting Education Decisions Through Technology - 

Online Measurement Tool

Alberta Education


  • This was the first Premiers Award that I had a very large, personal leadership stake in.  I was tasked with creating a distribution system for a very large survey - approximately 300,000 respondents.  The first year, all questionnaires were done on paper, very large costs to print, mail and process.  The second year, we created an online survey tool (Ismail Esmail was the key technology designer, far right in middle row), with a unique random number identification system which allowed students and teachers to respond online anonymously, while keeping intact their connection to a particular school (school and grade for students).  This system reduced anxiety among teachers that they would be somehow identified and held responsible for their honest opinions, or that somehow "Big Brother" in Edmonton was monitoring them.  That's me in the back row, left side of picture.  Ralph Klein, Premier of Alberta, is front row centre.

  • This team came up with a way to measure whether the funding framework for school jurisdictions is working.
  • The team developed an online measurement tool to collect funding framework data, replacing an older paper survey method.

Design of World Class Accountability Process for K-12 Learning

Alberta Education


  • This was my first recognition with a Premier's Award.  This team was key in designing the framework that would lead to the Accountability Pillar Online Reporting Initiative (APORI), which would collect, analyze, evaluate and report measures of educational success for the K-12 system and provide the structure for school and Board improvement and results reporting.  That's me second from right in the back row.  Premier Ralph Klein is front and centre.

  • Framework gives school jurisdictions maximum flexibility to decide how to use the funding they receive while increasing accountability for results in the learning system.

  • One of the only accountability process systems of its kind in the world.

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