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MEET OUR STAFF

May 15, 2017

Audrey Clempson - Monarch Colony Teaching Principal


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I have been teaching for 26 years, but I have only been in my current assignment since November, 2016.

What is your current assignment? 
I am the Teaching Principal at Monarch Colony School.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding? 
I love to see children trying new things and finding out they can be successful at them.  I enjoy doing projects with children that help them to develop a greater understanding of themselves as global citizens with the ability to make the world a better place.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position? 
I’m excited to be part of a brand-new school, seeing its growth and working through the start-up challenges.  It’s a privilege to be able work in such a unique and close-knit community. 

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud? 

I am proud of the progress we have made so far.  We started in December with a nice new building but with empty shelves and the challenge of creating a new school community.  We still have a lot to do, but we have accomplished a lot too.

What do you like to do when you are not working? 
I like reading, watching movies, and outdoor pursuits such as gardening, walking, biking and skiing.  I treasure time spent with family and friends. 

May 8, 2017

Raymond Clearsky - Waywayseecappoo School Head Custodian


I have worked for 30 years as the head custodian at Waywayseecappo Community School. The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I have had a part in raising all the children of Waywayseecappo over the last 30 years. I am very proud to hear that our school is very clean and well looked after when we have visitors come. I take great pride in getting everything done in a timely fashion. I enjoy watching hockey in my free time and spending time with my grandchilren and great grandchildren. I live close to the school and find myself going to check on the school when I have nothing to do. I enjoy coming to work everyday and seeing the students and staff. I have made many friendships over the years and met many people at our wonderful school. If you are ever in the area please stop by the Waywayseecappo Community School.

May 1, 2017

Stephanie Chwaluk - Strathclair School Teacher


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
This is my fifth year of teaching.  I spent my first year at Inglis School and have now been at Strathclair School for four years.

What is your current assignment?
This year I am teaching grades 2/3 ELA and Math and grades 1-3 Science, Social Studies, Phys. Ed., and Health.  I have also been working on my practicum for my Masters in Guidance and Counselling.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
Seeing students grow and develop as learners and citizens of our school community is very rewarding.  It is particularly fulfilling when we are able to celebrate the successes of students as they acquire new skills and gain confidence.  Teaching in a small school has allowed me the opportunity to stay connected with students as they have moved into middle years and high school.  The continuation of these relationships has allowed me to see them grow as they have developed socially, emotionally, and academically throughout the years.  I became a teacher because I love children, so one of the most rewarding parts for me is connecting with the kids!

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Through my counselling practicum I have had the opportunity to provide whole class, small group, and individual counselling to students at SCS.  Along with individual counselling, I am currently running a mindfulness program with the grade seven students as well as a leadership group with my grade three class.  My students and I have also been very fortunate to have the Roots of Empathy program in our classroom this year!

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?

I am very proud of the classroom community my students and I have created.  My students demonstrate kindness and respect for one another.  They are very accepting of all students and try their best make everyone feel safe and welcome at SCS.  They have also become independent learners and wonderful leaders for the younger students in our school.   

What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I’m not at school I am often with my friends and family.  I love spending time with my eight nieces and nephews, reading, running, travelling, and playing board games.  I also enjoy spending time at the lake in the summer!


April 24, 2017

Bonnie Arnfinson - Shoal Lake School Educational Assistant


I have worked at Shoal Lake School for fourteen years. This year, my assignment includes working with the grade 4s in the morning and the grade 3 and 4s in the afternoon. Besides my EA role, I also look after the canteen at our school.

In the time I’ve been working at the school, I have had the opportunity to work with students from K-11. I’ve coached volleyball and helped with other extra-curricular activities, like soccer and riding the swim bus.

I am mom to four girls and my youngest graduates this year! During the winter, I enjoy spending time curling and watching hockey – Go Jets, Go! In the summer, you’ll likely find me on the golf course. I also love to travel and visit with my friends.

April 17, 2017

Ashton LeFave - Rossburn Elementary School Teacher


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
This is my first year of teaching.

What is your current assignment? 
I am teaching grade 6 at Rossburn Elementary.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
I think the most rewarding part of my job is when you can take a reluctant learner and watch them grow and flourish. I live for the moments when a student gains the confidence to show their work to, both myself and their classmates, and also be proud of what they have accomplished.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Right now we are in the midst of our Solar System Unit in Science. In one of our latest activities, we were learning about the phases of the moon. To make things a bit more interesting and fun, I had the students cut the cream portion of an oreo to make it match the different phases that the moon goes through. This is the type of lesson that I live for. Not only did the students gain new, solid knowledge and understanding, they also had a lot of fun while doing it.
In February, my class also initiated a new behaviour/learning system through a video game simulation called class craft. The students create their own animated warriors, play as teams, gain experience points by doing well in class and lose health points based on things that we do not want to see, hear or do in our classroom. At the beginning it was very much an extrinsic motivator. However, as the weeks go by, it has become second nature to them to try their best and create a learning environment where they can succeed.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud? 
I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in kindergarten my answer to, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, was always ‘teacher’. I am so proud that I have been able to make that dream come true. I am proud that I am now a teacher in the school division that I went to school in from K-12. I am also proud of my students on a daily basis. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t surprised or amazed by at least one of them every single day.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I am not at RES you will probably find me with my Husband, Alex and our 1 year old corgi, Jules. We just got married in the summer of 2016 and are slowly starting to put together a life for ourselves. Most recently, we purchased our first home in Russell MB, and have been renovating the top floor for the past month. Other than that, I enjoy reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, singing, acting and the occasional cribbage match against my husband.

April 10, 2017

Sandra Neu - Rossburn Collegiate Educational Assistant


Years at Rossburn  Collegiate:            
This is my third year as an Educational Assistant at Rossburn Collegiate.

Education:
Vocational Business School in Germany

Other Experience/Information:

My family moved from Germany to Steinbach, MB Canada in March 2005. In Steinbach I went back to school to study English and stayed home with my kids.
In August 2010 we moved to Rossburn, and in 2011 I started working at the Little Cub’s Den Day Care in Rossburn.  After one year I changed from full time to substituting at the Rossburn Elementary School and at the Day Care. In 2013 I got a position as an Educational Assistant at the Rossburn Collegiate. After one year there, I went back to working at the Rossburn Elementary School and then back to the Rossburn Collegiate where I have been ever since.

Hometown:

Schwaebisch Hall, Germany

Currently resident:

Rural Rossburn, Manitoba

Favourite Activities/Hobbies:

I love to spend time with my three children who range in age from 10­-14years old. Also I like to go for horseback rides, read a good book or watch my daughter play hockey.

The best part of being an Educational Assistant:
 
The opportunity of working with students and seeing how they grow up.

If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.

March 27, 2017

Chelsey Kostesky - Miniota School Teacher


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
This is my first year of teaching.

What is your current assignment?
I am teaching grade 5 and 6 in Miniota School.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
I think the most rewarding part of my job is being able to see students progress in many different areas throughout the year and to know that what you are doing is helping them in so many ways.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Right now we are wrapping up our chemistry unit in Science. Throughout the unit we did a lot of experiments to explore reversible and non-reversible changes, physical and chemical reactions, and the different states and properties of matter. It was neat to see the observations and predictions that the students were making as well as the connections to prior knowledge.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
Something that I am proud of is the environment of my classroom. In my classroom I focus on making sure the students treat each other with respect and kindness. We are a family and our room is a safe place where you do not have to be afraid to make mistakes and to be yourself. It is amazing to see the big strides my students have made in this area from the start of the year till now.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
In my spare time I like to spend time with my family and friends, play sports, watch movies, read, and bake.

March 20, 2017

Megan Kowalchuk - Major Pratt School Educational Assistant & Coach


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I've been an educational assistant for 17 years, 7 years in the North, and 10 years in the South. I have been coaching Parkwest students for the last 26 years.

What is your current assignment?
My current assignment is a special one. I have been with this particular student for the last 5 years. She is a joy to work with and reminds me daily that life is to be lived not complained about.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is the when the students you work with accomplish something that has made them proud; If that means mixing yellow and red to make orange or finally learning to serve overhead. They are all cheerable moments.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?                                  
We are going skating with the student I work with, she has never stepped on ice before and we have gotten special permission to take her and her wheelchair on the ice so she can have the “All Canadian” moment of getting to play hockey, she has requested a pink hockey stick.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?                      
From a Educational Assistant stand point it has been when students come to me and ask for help on their own. Staying after school to help them with math, going to their house and sitting at their kitchen table with their family to teach them all the math so they all understand and can help each other.  From a coaching stand point it has to be winning a provincial volleyball title with a great bunch of girls that still stay in touch.

What do you like to do when you are not working?                                                                    
I am married and have 2 grown girls, when not spending time with them I like coaching, volleyball, curling and fastball. I also like playing all those sports as well as golf with my family.  I am an avid reader and like to paint the interior of houses.  I like to go camping and fishing in the summer.

March 13, 2017

Kristyn Eftoda - Inglis School Teacher


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
In education for 8 years

What is your current assignment?
Teaching K/1 split class

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
Working with staff. The "aha" moments that kids have when they discover they can read. The "amazing" stories each child has every morning

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Mindfulness. Daily 5. Guided Math

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?

Proud of completing a K/1/2 school year specifically differentiating for each child's needs.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
Hanging out at the farm. Going on side-by-side. Playing with my kids. Riding motorcycle.

March 6, 2017

Erin Johns - Hamiota Elementary Librarian & EA


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I started working as the librarian at Hamiota Elementary in October of 2016. I also recently started an educational assistant position. I am currently building task boxes for students. Before I accepted these positions, I was a regular volunteer in the school starting in 2009 when my son entered Kindergarden.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the students each week, and getting to know each of them. I have also really enjoyed being part of the great staff at Hamiota elementary. They have been very helpful and supportive in my new positions. I always look forward to going to work!

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
I really enjoy creating or providing something new in the library each week. For example, I made a snowman out of books and had a large selection of snowman, and winter themed books to choose from that week. The students always look forward to coming to see what I have created!

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
Although I haven't had much time in either one of my positions, I have been able to carry out a few things that I am proud of. I have just completed my first I love to read month. My goal was to make sure that each week, the students were excited to come to the library to see what our theme was. The most exciting theme for the kids was the fairytale and fantasy week, when I turned the library into a castle!

What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 3 kids. We are often at a hockey rink, or ball diamond depending on the season. I am a very creative person, so I always have a creative project that I am working on. One of my favourite things to do is bake and decorate cakes. I also enjoy travelling, being outdoors, and spending time at our cabin.

February 27, 2017

Chris Obach - Hamiota Collegiate Teacher


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
This is my 7th year teaching at Hamiota Collegiate

What is your current assignment?

Currently I am teaching all of the social sciences at Hamiota. This includes grade 6 to grade 9 Social Studies, Geography, History, World Geography and Global Issues. Over the last 5 years I have spent time coaching Varsity and Junior Varsity volleyball and high school baseball.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

The part of my job I find most rewarding is watching the change in students over the seven years I get to teach them. Watching young grade 6 students learn and grow over the years and develop into mature and responsible adults when they graduate is the most rewarding.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?

Federal and Provincial elections are a dream for any Social Studies teacher and our school was fortunate enough to have four of our local candidates in the 2015 Federal election attend an open house that the grade 9 social studies class hosted.  It was great to see the students interact with the candidates and ask questions about issues important to them.

This will be the third year that students will be planting a garden at our school. The garden, located on school grounds, is planted, managed and harvested by students through the end of the school year and throughout the summer. Produce is collected and donated to the local food bank in an effort to give back to the community. The next step in the process will be to get our greenhouse up and running in an attempt to expand the program.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends outside of school. I stay busy playing hockey in the winter and enjoy playing baseball and golf in the summer.  I also enjoy spending my last few weeks of the summer driving the grain cart and swather for my in-laws during harvest. My wife and I love to travel and have had the opportunity to visit places such as Bali, Hawaii, the Caribbean and different countries throughout Europe.

February 13, 2017

Heather Stweart Smart - Birtle Elementary Teacher


How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I started this wonderful world of teaching in 1989. I’ve been at this for a long time, haven’t I ?? I started teaching in Alberta for 11 years and then returned to Manitoba to be closer to family.

What is your current assignment?
I have the pleasure of working at a K-4 school in Birtle. I teach Grade 4 to some amazing little people :)

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to instill confidence in reluctant learners. This is also the most challenging part of my job! It is important that my students feel comfortable asking questions and taking risks in our class.  Kids are coming to school with so many things and it’s important to be empathetic their needs.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
I look forward to our monthly book clubs. Once students have read for 20 minutes a night or longer, at the end of the month we get together for a lunch and have our favorite books and authors. This club really helps prevent students from falling into the “Grade 4 Reading Slump”. It is also a great way to connect with my students.

 What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
I’m proud of my positive relationships with the kids.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
My husband Mike and I have been married for 23 years. We have a daughter at U of W so we make lots of trips to Winnipeg. We also have a son who loves to ski so we spend many weekends at the ski hill. We also have huge families. I love to hang out with them whenever I can. I am a “great” Auntie to 8 little ones that I enjoy watching grow up. I enjoy playing the piano, reading and travelling.

February 6, 2017

Pam Jessop - Birtle Collegiate Educational Assistant

Hi! I'm Pam Jessop. I am an educational assistant at Birtle Collegiate. I began my full time career with BCI in November of 1998, and have remained a permanent fixture in the building since. I enjoy working with the kids, and couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

'If you choose a job you love, you will never work a day in your life!'


January 30, 2017

Carla Arron - Binscarth School Educational Assistant & Librarian

I started subbing as an Educational Assistant and Lunch Supervisor many years ago at Binscarth School. I really enjoyed working at the school so when a part time job became available in March of 1998, I accepted it. It soon became full time and I realized I could have a job that didn't really feel like a job because I enjoyed it so much. That was almost 19 years ago! Wow how time flies by!
  
I'm still enjoying being an Educational Assistant, Speech and Language Assistant, Librarian and helping out with Lunch Supervision. Our school is a great place to come to work every day! I always feel valued and appreciated by all the staff.

Having the opportunity to share in so many young people's lives is the most rewarding aspect of my job. From the time they start kindergarten to the time they graduate from grade 8, they have become such a big part of my life. Some students still drop by the school to fill me in on what they've been up to since leaving and reminisce about our years together.

In my spare time I FaceTime with my two grandchildren who live in Alberta. My favourite book series is "Outlander" and I like watching reality TV. I'm a huge "Survivor" fan! I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes on the staff when we have potluck lunches. I'm not sure if they enjoy that but I do! During the summer my husband and I spend a lot of time at Pyott's West Campground. We always look forward to a fish fry and sitting around the campfire in the evenings. Did I mention that I caught a master angler Northern Pike? When I tell that story I liken it to the tale of "The Old Man and the Sea". A little exaggerated but true for the most part. It just makes for a better story!

But my passion is cats! Cats are designed to offer us humans ongoing opportunities to practice patience, tolerance and acceptance. About a year ago I adopted two little kittens that are always up to something. I know when they meet me at the door I'm probably not going to be as enthused about what they've been up to as they are!

January 23, 2017

Marellia Cote - Waywayseecappo School Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I have been working at WCS for 25 years.  I have taught grade 1, 2 a 1-2 split, and grade 6.  I have shadowed many great teachers in the years of my training.  These teachers were a great inspiration to me.  The teaching staff and students have always been so supportive and great over the years.

What is your current assignment?

My current assignment is teaching grade 6 all subject areas and team teaching physical education with Mr. Langlois with both grade five classes.  I am also on the Jr. Chief and Council committee with Mrs. Wilson as well as teach teaching with my long-time friend Mrs. Mckay by sharing ideas and strategies with one another.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

When I see a child’s eyes light up because they understand new ideas.  My passion for teaching just grows each and every day.  To teach and help children grow into successful, kind and caring citizens is in my heart.  To watch and hear children using techniques or problem solving strategies you’ve shared with is rewarding in itself.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?

My teaching position has always been most rewarding in language arts.  I’ve always loved reading and writing.  To explore so many adventures that books and writing can take you.  Students just light up and begin to share more often because they are communicating more effectively and appropriately through the art of language.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?

I have been given the opportunity to teach so many children and to inspire them to reach goals they thought were impossible.  To have parents thank you for their child’s happiness is all the reward any teacher would appreciate.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

When I’m not working I love spending as much time as possible with my grandchildren.  I love watching them play hockey.  I also like travelling with my husband.  I read and try to keep physically active on a daily basis.  This year it is my goal to spend more time with my sisters and brothers.

January 16, 2017

Wenda Clearsky - Rossburn Elementary Educational Assistant

This is my second school year at Rossburn Elementary and my fifth year as an educational assistant in a school environment.  I currently work with middle years students.  I love my job and take pleasure and pride in helping elementary or high school students learn and achieve their personal goals. 

While working as an administrative assistant at Yellowquill College in Winnipeg, I became interested in helping older students who were trying to achieve their goals while maintaining their own personal home lives with their children, finances and everyday life.  I hope I am making a difference by encouraging young students with the insights I have heard and experiences through these college students by making better choices with their future educational goals.

When I am not working, I enjoy golfing, fishing, travelling, reading, writing and learning all of which I am passionate about.  I am always interested in educating myself.  My latest and completed educational course was Applied Counselling through Red River College.  I have also written works through University of Victoria as I love writing.

January 9, 2017

Beccy Ardiel-Voth - Shoal Lake School Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I graduated from Brandon University in 2003 and began teaching that fall in Dauphin, MB at Lt. Col. Barker School, where I had a term position teaching grade 6. From there, I put my science degree and senior years teaching concentration to use in Somerset, MB where I had a high school science term position.  The following year, I began working in the Park West School Division at Strathclair Community School, where I worked for five years before transferring to Shoal Lake School, where I have been ever since. If you do the math, this would be my 13th year in the teaching profession.

What is your current assignment?
My teaching assignment for the 2015-2016 school year is mostly focused on grade 9-12 ELA as well as grade 9 Home Ec, grade 10 Visual Arts, and grade 12 Psychology, via the IITV system.
I am also the student council advisor and the grad advisor and I coached our school x-country team.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
I am a teacher because I really enjoy helping students learn. Working with high school students is one aspect of the job that I really enjoy because although I like teaching the content of my designated courses, I also enjoy the level of conversation I am able to have with my students.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
In my opinion, the neatest part of my position is the IITV portion. I really like teaching students via this system and I feel it is a valuable teaching tool for our students.   This system also enables me to teach courses that have become two of my favourites – grade 12 Psychology is a very interesting subject and grade 12 Literary ELA allows me the opportunity to study some of my most cherished novels!

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
I have had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at a Strathclair graduation and at a Shoal Lake graduation and these two moments have made me feel very honoured and very grateful to have found a career that I love and students whom I have formed strong connections with.  Seeing students after they have graduated and having conversations with them long after they have left my classroom helps me realize that this is the right job for me!

What do you like to do when you are not working?
If I am not at school, there is a good possibility that I am with my husband, Dan (the divisional plumber) and my two-year old son, Liam. I struggle a bit with “downtime” and like to stay busy and active! Some activities that I enjoy include being a part of the Strathclair Theatre Chorus and the Strathclair Drama Club, tap dancing, camping, gardening, knitting and watching Paw Patrol (just kidding – this would be my son’s favourite hobby!).

December 19, 2016

Kathy Woodley - Strathclair School Secretary

Background:
I was born and raised in England, My husband and I moved to Canada in 1996. For the first two years in Canada I helped my husband on the farm. Our first son was born in June of 1997, and in 1999 our second son was born . My first off the farm job in Canada was at the Strathclair Credit Union where I worked for 10 years.

How long been in this position :
I am in my 6th year at the school.

Current Assignment :
Secretary at Strathclair Community School - Grades K-12

What part of job is most rewarding :
Seeing the children develop and grow into adults. Neat things currently doing in my position : Organizing and designing the various concert programs, I am also on the social committee and we organized the staff Christmas party. I also have a son (Aidan) graduating from Strathclair this year, so we are busy fundraising and preparing for the 2017 Grad.

Things in my role that have made me proud :
In 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 school years, I coached the senior boys soccer program and in the year of 2014/15 we won the Zone Championship and qualified for provincials, however we were unable to make it to the provincials as a lot of our team members would have been away for hockey the same weekend. The boys worked so hard that year and were determined to win. I was so proud of how they all performed.

Things I like to do when I’m not at work :
When I am not at work at the school, I like to spend my time watching my sons play hockey in the Winter and in the summer I love to be outdoors either in the garden or around the yard. I am more of an outdoors person than in. I have an interest in horses of which we have two. I also love to spend time with family and friends, camping, boating and socializing.

December 12, 2016

Mark Williams - Rossburn Collegiate Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
In May of 2011 I graduated from the Faculty of Education at Brandon University, and in the fall of 2011 began my teaching career at Rossburn Collegiate. I am currently in my sixth year. Prior to entering the Faculty of Education at B.U. and becoming a teacher, I worked as an Educational Assistant in the Brandon School Division for two years working in the Middle Years Students Support Program.

What is your current assignment?

For the 2016-2017 school year I am teaching ELA 10/Reading is Thinking, ELA 20/Visual Art, Family Studies 30, Futures in Business15/Start Your Own Business 25, Retailing 20, and Slot 3 Wellness, which is a new class that all students and staff are involved in. During this period, students and staff choose an activity related to physical health and wellness.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
Generally, just the day to day interaction I have with the students is rewarding. When I was a student at Neepawa Area Collegiate I was always envious of my teachers and the fact that they have an occupation that requires working with young people. I am so glad that I get this opportunity as well. I 110% believe in the golden rule; if you treat students with respect they will return that respect. Along with the interaction with students, I think we have a great staff here at Rossburn Collegiate and I love the team dynamic we have. We work well together and get things done.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?

This year Rossburn Collegiate has decided to use Slot 3 as our Wellness Period/Phys. Ed. Period. Students have an opportunity to select various sessions to sign up for. Sessions usually run for two week blocks and are instructed by staff members. What I like about it is that the students have a choice in what they want to participate in, and they get to interact with students of all grades not just the students in their own grade group. I think it’s a great thing we’ve taken on as a school because it really promotes the benefits of living an active, healthy lifestyle.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
Over the last six years I’ve been involved in extracurricular sports activities including golf, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and track & field. I think it’s important for the students to have the opportunity to participate with, and compete against, other like-minded students across Manitoba in high school athletics. I feel it adds to the overall student experience as well as creating lasting memories. I think numerous life skills can be taught in sports that maybe can’t be taught as well in a classroom. There’s no question that high school athletics is the other half of education.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
Since living and working in Rossburn I have become an avid snowmobiler in the winter time! In the summertime I play a lot of golf and enjoy fishing as well. Along with this I love to cook and listen to music, spend time with friends, and travel, especially to Northern Ontario to visit my brother.

December 5, 2016

Shelley Gardham - Miniota School Educational Assistant

Shelley Gardham has worked in Miniota School as an Education Assistant, Speech Language Assistant and Noon Hour Supervisor for the past 20 years. The most rewarding part of her job is working with the students and watching the progress they make, especially when they get something that was challenging to them at the beginning. Being part of that journey and being able to help the students along the way is something that Shelley takes a lot of pride in. When Shelley is not working at the school, she enjoys working on different art projects, specifically painting, and hanging out with family and friends.

November 28, 2016

Christine Ushey - Major Pratt School Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I have been teaching since 1988. I started my career in Dauphin at Mackenzie Junior High. I spent the following eight years teaching at Goose Lake High in Roblin. I have been teaching at Major Pratt School for the last seventeen years. Throughout the years I have taught at both the middle years and high school areas.

What is your current assignment?
This year my teaching assignment includes Social Studies, Geography, Native Studies, English and Reading is Thinking at the grades 9 and 10 levels.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
I sincerely believe that working with young people is truly a rewarding experience. Their enthusiastic natures help me to feel young as well!

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Teaching Native Studies is new to me so I am always looking for interesting ways to approach this course. As I am teaching, I am learning as well. It has been an educational adventure for me as well as the students in the course. The history and culture of Aboriginal People in Canada is a fascinating subject!

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
I love teaching and have loved it since my first day in the classroom. I have always been proud of the positive relations that I have with the students. I like to get to know everyone on a personal level and enjoy watching them participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, drama and choir. Major Pratt School has caring and compassionate staff members and I it is a pleasure to work with them every day.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I’m not at school, I like to spend time with my two adult children and close friends. I am an avid reader and can easily waste time with a good book. I would like to say that I spend my time travelling the world, but I think I’ll have to wait until I retire before that will happen.

November 21, 2016

Linda Hodge - Inglis School Educational Assistant

Linda Hodge is a valued member of the Inglis School team. She has worked at the school close to 17 years. Her roles include being an educational assistant, speech language assistant and noon-hour supervisor. She finds helping students achieve their goals, and being part of the Inglis School team, her greatest reward. When not working, Linda enjoys time with her grandkids, walking, reading, bowling and gardening.


November 14, 2016

Lindsay Routledge - Hamiota Elementary School Teacher

I have been teaching in the Park West School Division for 13 years. For the past 8 years, I have been proud to call  Hamiota Elementary School, my "home" away from home. Currently I teach Grade 4, 3/4 time.

The most rewarding aspects of my job are building relationships with the students and making learning fun. The teacher/student relationship is very important to me. I feel that learning takes place easier and more naturally when a trusting relationship  between student and teacher has been formed. I want the students to be able to rely on me and see me as someone who is invested in them. Having fun with my students is also very important to me.  When I can make learning fun and have some laughs with my students, we all feel a little more light-hearted and ready to learn.

Something a little different that we do in Grade 4 is a language arts unit on Bigfoot or as we know him in Canada,  Sasquatch! Strange,  but true. Who knew there were so many stories and sightings of Bigfoot in Canada? Would you believe there is a national registry online where you can read about local sightings? As close by as Kenton, MB! All aspects of the language arts program can be integrated into this one theme. Most importantly, the students LOVE this topic. All of them. It is enthusiasm overload in my classroom when we talk about this hairy beast.

Books and reading are a huge part of my school and home life and I am particularly fond of classic literature. These "old-fashioned" stories aren't always popular with young students, however, I have been able to introduce two classic stories into my ELA curriculum with success. I am particularly proud of this because these books have enticed and intrigued my students without all of the bright illustrations and glossy beauty that attracts students these days. I hope these experiences will encourage my students to choose a large variety of literature in their reading years to come.

Outside of school, I keep busy with my husband Jason and children, Carter and Caleigh. We spend our summers at Four Seasons Island Resort, camping and enjoying time with family and friends. I enjoy reading, going to the movies, travelling, and watching the Toronto  Maple Leafs. (I know, I know... but this year is going to be their year!)

November 7, 2016

Karen Mathison - Hamiota Collegiate Librarian

This is my 31st year working at Hamiota Collegiate.  During that time I have had many different job descriptions.  I began working a couple of days a week in the career guidance area where most of my time was spent using a computer program where students entered information about their interests and abilities and the program generated a list of suitable careers.  Although cutting edge then then, the computer and the program were extremely slow, so the students and I spent a lot of time talking about careers and life in general.  As there were no career guidance positions in the schools at the time, my job became creating a career center and providing students with applications and keeping them informed of deadlines, scholarships and bursaries and student aid. I also held a secretarial position while our secretary was on maternity leave and then split the position for a year or two, doing career work on the other days.  Part of my job involved doing copying and collating on a huge collating machine. 

Since the early 1990’s my job has been in the library.  We started with a card catalogue and have been through three different automated programs.  The way that libraries are used has changed significantly over time and the job has changed as well.  Other things that I do include compiling the monthly newsletter, overseeing the annual Remembrance Day program and working on graduation. For extra-curricular activities I also help out with the Middle Years Christmas Drama and Senior major production.

After this many years, the thing I still enjoy most is working with students.  They are all different with different temperaments and abilities – academic, artistic, athletic, compassionate.   There are always some students who stop by every day and others that just come in for a chat every so often.  Talking to the librarian is pretty low stress and I always look forward to these visits.   Seeing students come into the school in Grade 6 as youngsters and watching them develop into competent and mature young adults is really a wonderful thing. 

Outside of school, I teach Driver Education, like to knit and crochet, spend time at the lake and to follow the activities of my 8 grandchildren.

I feel I have been very fortunate to have worked with 4 wonderful principals and many wonderful teachers, EA’s and custodians.  How many people have been fortunate enough to be involved in so many aspects of the lives of so many young people?  What a great job I have!!

October 31, 2016

Elias Wipf - Decker Colony School

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
- My name is Elias Wipf. I have been teaching at Decker Colony, Park West school division for 20 complete years and am currently in my 21st year of teaching.

What is your current assignment?

- This school year I am teaching grades 9, 10 Applied Math and grade 12 Applied Math via ITV to 6 different sites. I also teach grade 7 science, grade 11 Biology, grades 7 to 9 ELA and I teach a wood working course.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
- I love teaching what I teach. My interests are Math and Science. I could teach it all day and wouldn’t tire from it. I also really enjoy teaching wood working which is a passion for me. I can’t get enough of using wood to create awesome projects with my students.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
- I am currently teaching woodworking and my students are creating dog houses at this time. These are fully insulated, finished and we then hope to sell those off to raise funds for our school wood shop.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
- Within my science curriculums I have my students go through our orchards where we learn how to prune trees, prune off flowering buds, etc to maximize the fruit size and quality. I strongly feel the best way to learn is through hands on and getting my students to do authentic work like that and to see their results in summer when fruit develops is priceless. Our apples that we grow are BC – like. Come and try some during the fruit season beginning of August..

What do you like to do when you are not working?
- Hmmm, what’s spare time now… when is a teacher not working?? In my spare time I take care of 20 hives of bees during the summer. This is so educational. So if you want to try some of Canada’s best honey come and see Elias at Decker Colony. I also love to explore new ideas for our wood working shop and in doing so I like to try making projects first before I get my students to do them.

October 24, 2016

Tanis Cheasley - Birtle Collegiate

This is my first year teaching at Birtle Collegiate where I am currently teaching grade 8. In the last nineteen years I have worked in two school divisions, in 5 different schools, have taught grades four to nine, and had positions as a resource teacher and a principal.

I love teaching in the classroom and helping the students to make connections between what we are learning in class and how that applies to their real life. I also enjoy having the opportunity to work with small groups and individual students who might be having difficulty. It is always very rewarding when I can help a student go from believing the work is too hard to believing they can do it.

I enjoy being back in the classroom full time. To help students get ready for high school and choosing courses, my grade eight class is researching careers they are interested in pursuing. It was very interesting for students to find out what careers they might be well suited for after taking some on line quizzes and to see the variety of careers that are out there, many of which they didn’t know existed. We are now using social media to find experts in various careers so students may interview them. It excites me to see students so interested in what they are learning, planning for their future, and setting new goals to make sure they are able to achieve their future ambitions.

When I’m not at school, I am the proud mom of my 2 children and following them to their various activities. My husband and I also enjoy helping out with fundraising events for the Kidney Foundation of Manitoba and raising awareness about organ donation.

October 17, 2016

Edith Galloway - Administrative Assistant at Birtle Elementary School

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
-
I started working in Foxwarren School with Phil DeCorby.  I have been at Birtle Elementary since 2000 and am now working with the sixth Principal in my career of 21 years in the school division.

What is your current assignment?
- I am the Administrative Assistant at Birtle Elementary School

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
-
There are many rewarding things about my job on a daily basis which include the camaraderie of our staff. I enjoy the smiles each day on the students’ faces, and being able to help any students who are in need of assistance.  Sometimes I refer to my job as being a “Band aid Queen”!

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
- I have enjoyed over the years learning the many new programs introduced by the school division for administration.  It is always good to challenge yourself and learn new things. Right now I am enjoying working with my new principal, Lyndsay Kyle and helping her learn the routines of our school.   Lyndsay will be a great asset to the PWSD team of Administrators.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?

- I am most proud of being able to work as a team member with our staff. Over the years I have assisted in implementing some new programs for our school and have enjoyed seeing the benefits for our students.   I like to take pride in my job each day but can’t seem to keep my desk as clean as that of our CEO, though I do know where everything is on my desk!!

What do you like to do when you are not working?
- I teach the Driver Ed program and I enjoy reconnecting with students who have previously been in the Elementary School.   It is neat to see how they have matured, and I like to take an interest in their sports or any hobbies they have.   While at home I enjoy spending lots of time with our two granddaughters who live in the same farmyard as my husband and I.  I also enjoy gardening, baking and having fun in the great outdoors!

October 10, 2016

Sharon Ward - Teacher at Binscarth School

I have been a half time teacher at Binscarth School for the past 14 years. I presently teach Grade 3 & 4’s as well as Reading Recovery.

I especially enjoy working as a Reading Recovery Teacher with Grade One Students. I work with one student on a daily basis. During that half-hour, you build a relationship and really get to know the child. It is very rewarding to see the pride and excitement of a child who is learning to read and write.

I have always valued education and enjoy learning. I feel education can empower a child to believe in themselves. Teaching is an awesome profession and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. Every day is always a new adventure. It’s a profession that is challenging and rewarding. It is rewarding when you see a student have that “magic moment” of understanding and feeling of success. I have the joy of watching students grow and learn on a daily basis and I am learning something new from them.

I enjoy speaking to former students talk about their school experiences. It is gratifying to hear that something I did made a difference to them.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy being a proud Mom to an 11 year old son and all the exciting activities that he takes part in. As a family, we love to travel and spend time at the Lake. We recently added a Golden Retriever pup named Roxy to our family and she keeps us very busy.

I love a quote so I will end with…
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World.” Nelson Mandela

October 3, 2016

Bonnie Kiliwnik - Student Services Coordinator

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
- 6 Years

What is your current assignment?
- Student Services Coordinator

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
- Working with Student Services staff, principals and teachers to provide all students in Park West School Division with appropriate programming, resources and services.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
- Working collaboratively with school staff on developing and implementing class/student profiles.
- Focus on strength-based program planning for all students!
“We must look on our children in need not as problems but as individuals with potential… I would hope we could find creative ways to draw out of our children the strengths  that there is in each of them.” Archbishop Desmund Tutu
- Looking forward to working with the RCI school team and students this fall Repurposing Furniture as part of their Wellness/Phys Ed credit.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
- The Student Services department encompasses so many aspects in education.
Some highlights include:
- Expanding the community programs and opportunities for pre-school students in our PWSD communities.
- Working with Dyslexia support team including Kim Baskerville and Ashley Wood to provide screening, programming and information to educators and parents.
- Working with school staff and outside agencies to provide resources, services and training for all students.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
- My kids are busy with extra-curricular, so following them with school sports, hockey and baseball.
My children also Ukrainian dance and I am busy with being on the Yachmnika Ukrainian Dance Executive as well as chairperson for our annual competition. If I have time, I have been doing a lot of ‘repurposing’ furniture using chalk paint!