A long time Nova Scotian educator, who is leading the expansion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program in Nova Scotia schools, has won the IB North America Inspiration Award. John Messenger, of Halifax, received the award in Chicago on Sunday, July 15, from Laura Brock, chair of the Atlantic Council of International Baccalaureate Organization Schools. Mr. Messenger has had a distinguished 47-year career in education in Nova Scotia, across Canada and in the United States. He is currently the Department of Education’s provincial co-ordinator for the International Baccalaureate program. In that capacity, Mr. Messenger is expanding the program from two to 12 public schools in Nova Scotia. Previously, he was headmaster at Kings-Edgehill School in Windsor and the Halifax Grammar School. “I want to congratulate John on receiving this prestigious award and to thank him for his leadership role in the department and as an educator in Nova Scotia,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. “His work will have a positive impact on students across our province for many years to come.” The award recognized the Department of Education’s tremendous commitment to the International Baccalaureate diploma program, which is a direct result of Mr. Messenger and his long-standing belief in the IB. “For five years, the International Baccalaureate has presented this award to individuals or organizations who have taken IB to new levels,” said Paul Campbell, head of outreach and volunteer services at IB North America in New York City. “In 2007, John Messenger was easily the most deserving nominee.” This fall, more than 400 students will begin the IB diploma program at 12 public schools throughout the province. The IB program is an internationally recognized, advanced liberal arts diploma designed for ambitious students in grades 11 and 12. It emphasizes critical thinking and analysis, writing and oral communication, philosophy, community service, athletics, and internationalism. IB graduates are highly sought after by universities eager for students who have met an international standard of excellence.