David Riendl and Szandra Temesvari receive 2019 McEwen Teacher Award

2019 McEwen Teacher Awards

Established by Dr. James McEwen (BASc ’71, PhD ’75), P.Eng, and his family in 2011, the McEwen Family Teacher Recognition Award is presented annually by the Faculty of Applied Science to recognize teachers that go above and beyond to ensure the success of their students — both academically and personally.

This year, the McEwen’s generosity enabled us to honour not one, but two teachers: David Riendl (Aspengrove School) and Szandra Temesvari (Kelvin High School). Both Aspengrove School and Kelvin High School will receive $5000 for enrichment activities, programs or development and will each be allocated a $5000 scholarship for a current high school student to attend UBC.

The recipients were nominated by first-year UBC engineering students Lesley Hill and Laia Shpeller; whose entry submissions displayed gratitude and appreciation for these teachers who have left a lasting impact on their lives.

David Riendl is a math and science teacher and International Baccalaureate instructor in physics.  Directed by his passion for the sciences, Riendl makes the classes he teaches an unforgettable experience. Thinking back says Hill, “He does so much more outside the classroom that also has a huge impact on his students including organizing math and science competitions at the school and arranging trips so students can attend science challenges throughout the year, such as the Physics Olympics at UBC … The excitement and rigor with which he teaches his students, the relationships he insightfully builds with each individual he meets, and his unique personality and drive make him the kind of teacher that students are lucky to have.”

Nominated by Laia Shpeller, Szandra Temesvari — an International Baccalaureate instructor in biology and chemistry at Kelvin High School — is described as “one of the most committed, diligent, generous and organized teachers … Her devotion to both the education of her students and teaching ability is phenomenal” says Shpeller, “but it is her commitment to her students which truly makes her so outstanding. Her doors were always open, no matter what the circumstances were.” Beyond her classroom doors, Temesvari also established and leads the International Student-Led Arctic Monitoring and Research (ISAMR) program — through which students travel to Churchill, Manitoba in both the summer and fall/winter to perform hands-on field research on polar bears and the surrounding environment.

On June 21, 2019 the Faculty of Applied Science held a lunch to celebrate both David and Szandra’s accomplishments. In attendance were: James Olson (Dean, UBC Faculty of Applied Science); James McEwen; Jenn McEwen; Jeff McEwen; David Riendl (recipient); Szandra Temesvari; Francine Ling (David’s wife); Szilvia Carriere (Szandra’s mother); Lesley Hill (nominator); Laia Shpeller (nominator); Bhushan Gopaluni (Associate Dean, Education and Professional Development); Debbie Woo (Senior Director, Development and Alumni Engagement) and Karen Cheng (Development Manager).

View photo album of award recipients.

For more information on the award, visit:

McEwen Family Teacher Recognition Award.

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