Derek Caldwell - Strathclair School Teacher

He has been teaching since 2006. He taught in Morris before coming to Strathclair School.

 

Derek has been teaching Grade 9 math, Grade 10-12 Precalculus, Physics, PE 40, and Accounting. He has also taught Accounting, Chemistry, Electronics, Topics in Science, and some business courses.

 

Derek has a great sense of humor and loves to interact with the students.  Most intramural days, he can be seen playing in the gym with the students. Regularly, he can be found in the hallway or classroom visiting with students.  
Some of the neat things that Derek does as part of his job are conducting Chemistry and Physics experiments.  He is looking forward to outdoor hiking with his Grade 12 physical education class.  

 

When asked about something he has done in his career that makes him proud, Derek says, "watching a student's light bulb go off when I've helped them get a concept they struggled with at first".

 

SCS has had the joy of experiencing Derek and his family with us for Roots of Empathy.   
When Derek is not working, he loves to golf and spend time with his family. 

April 29th, 2019

Tricia Lelond - Minota Resource Teacher & Guidance Counsellor

I have been teaching at Miniota School for 15yrs. I currently teach K-8 French and 7/8 ELA. I am also the Resource Teacher and Guidance Counsellor. People always look at me funny when I say that but I like wearing many hats with my job because it keeps things interesting. I am currently taking my WEVAS Instructors course which is something new for me. I am proud of many things that we do in our school but in particular I am proud of the Character Ed program that we run. With the help of programs like Roots of Empathy, Zones of Regulations and 7 Habits of Happy Kids, I feel like we are helping to create well rounded young people. I love teaching at Miniota School. We have a very cohesive staff that works well together. Being in a small school our students become like our family and I feel that makes us very unique. When I’m not teaching I am busy being a wife and mom (3 kids), as well as playing an active role in my community, working out and spending time with my friends and family. I also enjoy travelling whenever possible.

April 1, 2019

Deb Wilkinson - Major Pratt School Educational Assistant

I have been an EA at Major Pratt for 24 years- starting my 25th year in September.  WOW!  Where has the time gone?!?  I am really having fun…LOL

During this time I have worked in all areas of the school from Kindergarten to grade 12.  Over the years I have formed many close relationships with both staff and students.  I look forward to making many more.  To me, there is nothing more fulfilling than watching students grow, learn, laugh and reach their full potential.  I would like to think that I had a little something to do with making sure they have grown into mature and responsible adults.  In many ways, they feel like my own.

In my free time I love being outdoors, especially during the summer.  Camping and gardening are two of my favorite past times.  In the winter I usually crochet, ice fish and follow my grandchildren during their hockey season.  My grandchildren range in age from newborn (May) to 12 years old.  They keep my husband and I busy, not to mention, young! 

My most memorable moment at MPS will be this coming June at graduation.  The class of 2019 has asked me to give the “Toast to the Grads”!  I cannot tell you how honored I am to have been chosen.  I have been a part of their lives (and them mine) since grade 5.  I hope to make them proud!

March 18th, 2019

Sarah Lopes - Hamiota Collegiate Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?

This is my 5th year of teaching in Hamiota. I taught one awesome year at Hamiota Elementary and the rest has been at Hamiota Collegiate. 

 

What is your current assignment?

I currently teach Phys Ed and Health Ed from grades 6 to 12.

 
What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

The most rewarding part of my job is sharing the excitement and passion for sports, games, and fitness with my students. Seeing them progress, grasp a new skill or a piece of information, and succeed physically is one of the best feelings for a PE teacher! 

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

Currently, some of the middle years Phys Ed classes are learning about the skeletal system and major muscle groups. They are learning their location, proper terminology, their primary function, and which exercises help us strengthen specific muscles. With the start of the new semester, the senior years classes are making personal fitness goals and preparing for an active semester in the gym!

 

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

I have loved building relationships with all the students and staff. When they come by the gym to check out what’s going on, it makes me happy to know that they feel welcomed into the gym environment. I also love when I can put a smile on someones face or make them laugh each morning. 

 

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

When I’m not working, I like to spend some of my time coaching our dedicated athletes in a variety of sports. I also enjoy working out, playing volleyball in Brandon as well as playing basketball with some other division members in Shoal Lake! If I’m not being active, I’m usually curled up on the couch for some peaceful relaxation time. 

February 25th, 2019

Michelle Vinie - Education Assistant

I have been at BCI for 5 years. My job is currently Educational Assistant.  I did the Librarian position for a one year term and also managed the cafeteria for 3 years.  I really love all three of these jobs.

The part of my job that I find most rewarding is connecting with and helping kids – from Grade 5 all the way up to Grade 12.  I enjoy the diversity of being able to help solve the little problems all the way up to big teenage dilemmas! 

I love seeing the different personalities of the kids and watching them grow and flourish.  I feel I am here to help them academically when needed, but more importantly to be there for them on an emotional level. There are a lot of different issues facing kids today that just weren’t there in the past and they need support now more than ever.

In my spare time I enjoy cooking, camping and fishing with my family.  Richard and I have two sons, Jayden & Shayne, who graduated from BCI in 2018 & 2017. 

February 19, 2019

Josie Simard - Birtle Elementary Teacher & Birtle Collegiate Guidance Counsellor

I am the School Guidance Counsellor for Birtle Elementary and Birtle Collegiate, as well as the K-4 Music teacher and K-1 French teacher for Birtle Elementary.  This is my eighth year teaching at Birtle Elementary and my fourth year as Counsellor for Birtle Collegiate.  In my 21 years since becoming a teacher, I have taught in many different term positions including teaching Music in Binscarth School and various grades and subjects at Birtle Elementary and Birtle Collegiate.

In 2005, I made the decision to take some time to stay at home with my five young children.  Although loving my years at home with the kids, I missed the classroom and school, so when my youngest turned 4 years old, I returned to Park West and was fortunate enough to obtain my permanent contract.

As a teacher and counsellor, I love getting to know our students and building relationships with them.  We are so lucky to be able to watch our students learn and grow every day academically and emotionally, as well as learn and grow with them.

What has excited me the most in the past few years is the commitment that our staff and division have made to implement different programs that teach around empathy, kindness and self-regulation.  The Roots of Empathy, Zones of Regulation and the Leader in Me are just a few examples of some of the great programs that we are involved in and are seeing such success with.  I am very proud to be part of such an amazing group of staff and students who work so hard to be the best that they can be for themselves and for each other. 

Outside of school, my life is my family.  My husband, Danny, and I have four daughters, Zoe, Tori, Halle and Eve, and one son, Josh.  Zoe and Tori are currently attending Brandon University, and Josh, Halle and Eve all attend Birtle Collegiate.  We are kept busy with the kids’ extra-curricular activities and sports, and enjoy camping in the summer and socializing with friends and family. 

February 11th, 2019

Courtney Muir - Educational Assistant

How long have you been doing what you’re doing?

This is my first year as an EA at Miniota School


What is your current assignment? 

Currently I work with a little boy who has cerebral palsy. 


What part of your job do you find most rewarding? 

The most rewarding part of my job is the relationship I have gained with helping such a sweet little guy. I also really enjoy watching his progress as he’s learning new things and doing things he’s never done before. It is amazing to know that in a way I had a part in helping him do those new things, and that is so rewarding. He really has become like one of my own kids! 


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

Learning new strategies and ways to better help my buddy to progress not only in the classroom but in every day activities as well.


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

Everyday it makes me proud, knowing that I am helping shape a young mind into becoming the young man that he will become someday. 


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

I love spending time with my family. In the winter time we’re usually at the rink, in the summer time we love being outside, on the farm and camping. I also love to ride my horses, it is my happy place! 
 

December 3, 2018

Pam Gobert - Major Pratt School Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?

This is my fifth year of teaching at Major Pratt School. 

 

What is your current assignment?

I currently teach grade 1.

 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

The most rewarding part of my job is building relationships with my students and colleagues.  I love seeing my students master concepts and when they are excited about our learning.

 

What are some neat things that you are doing in the classroom?

In the month of December, we learn about holiday traditions from around the world.  Using our imaginations, we jump aboard the Polar Express and “travel” to different countries.  Everyone always makes sure to get their ticket stamped and we make a little souvenir from each place that we visit.  It’s a great way to learn about, and celebrate, different cultures.  My students love it and it keeps everyone engaged and happy in the days leading up to our break.  

 

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

When I’m not working, I love to spend time with my family and friends.

November 26, 2018

Ray Smith - Inglis School Custodian

Ray is a valued 5 year member of the Inglis School team.  He is our School Custodian and ranked #1 school wide for hot dog sales.  Ray is a kind man who when asked what the best part of his job is; his reply was the connections he has made with students, staff and visitors.  In addition, Ray says that he tries to keep the school as neat as he can and enjoys that fact that people appreciate that.  His previous background helps with the understanding in various facets of his job including concrete and roof repair.  Ray mentioned that maintaining the day to day is in some ways the easy part; it is the little extras that he puts forward are what he is most proud of in his position.  When Ray is not at the school, he can be found relaxing in the Valley where he lives.  He enjoys fishing and watching the beautiful wildlife that he can see from his dining room window.  His closing comment was that this scenery slows a person down in a good way and in the end and he can truly feel rested.  Thank you for all that you do at our school Ray!

November 19th, 2018

Ryan Coughlan - Hamiota Elementary Teacher

How long have you been doing what are doing?

This is my 3rd year of teaching all which have been at Hamiota Elementary School.

 

What is your current assignment?

My current assignment is K-5 Physical Education

 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

The most rewarding part of my job is building relationships with my students and colleagues.  

 

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

Currently in the gym the students are learning the game of Spikeball. During lunch hours we are wrapping up our Boys and Girls Floorball leagues.

 

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

Something I’ve organized over the past two years is a Soccer Jamboree in Hamiota. It is a soccer tournament where students from grades 2-5 have an opportunity to compete in a competitive tournament.

 

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

When I am not working I spend my time being involved in sports. That includes coaching various sports and playing them myself. Other than sports I like to travel and spend time with friends and family.

November 12th, 2018

Nadine Slimmon - Hamiota Collegiate Educational Assistant

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
 I have worked for 14 years at the School.


 What is your current position?  
My current position is educational assistant to a student in Grade 11. 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

 Coming to school each day to work alongside our staff and especially love getting to know our students. Another rewarding part of my job is when my student succeeds in what they have been taught and to see their face light up and their excitement.

 

 What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
Using the talents that God has given me to help others.   

November 5th, 2018

Taylor Madsen - Decker Colony School Teacher

How long have you been doing what are you doing?
This is my first teaching job right out of university.


What is your current assignment?
My current assignment is K-12 Phys Ed/Health, 4-6 Math, 4-6 Social Studies and 8/9 Science.


What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
I love coming to school everyday and interacting with my students and colleagues. I love talking about their interests and in return they ask me about mine. It is very rewarding to see the students grow as students but
also as individuals. 


What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
In the next few days, we will be finishing up our fractions, ratios and percent unit in Math so we are about to do a school wide survey which will include questions such as: what is your favorite food? what is your favorite sport? who is your favorite hockey team? (The questions have yet to be determined). After we pose these questions, we will gather all the data and display them in fraction form, ratio form and percent form to see the relation between them. It is also a neat way to find out more information about people!


What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
So far, hopefully I have taught the kids how to win graciously and how to lose graciously when participating not only in Phys Ed class but as well as within their daily life. 


What do you like to do when you are not working?
I like spending time with friends and family. Spring to summer is usually busy for me as I love to play baseball, I help coach baseball, I officiate baseball and I help out with Hamiota Minor Ball as much as I can. 

October 29th, 2018

Joan Bertram - Birtle Elementary Speech & Language Educational Assistant

I have worked for the School Division since 1999 and I am currently working at the Birtle Elementary as a speech and language educational assistant.

The most rewarding thing about my job is helping kids achieve things that others think may not be possible. 

I have been doing the Breakfast program at BES for the last couple of years and it is neat to see all the kids first thing in the morning and helping them start their day on a positive note. 

When I am not at school, I love reading books and spending lots of time with my granddaughter.

October 22nd, 2018

Angela Bowley - Birtle Collegiate Teacher

I am a full time Grade 7 teacher at Birtle Collegiate. This is my 20th year of teaching in Park West School Division (formally Birdtail S. D.) Of those 20 years, 17 have been at BCI and 3 were at Binscarth School. I have taught Gr. 5 – 12 student throughout that time.

I love that teaching provides us with such diverse opportunities to continue learning. I enjoy creating connections with students and learning about what sparks their interest and using that in my classroom.

Two neat projects that I tried last year for the first time are: Wax Museum of Human Rights Activists & creating book trailer posters that included a QR code & cover pic. of the kids’ favorite novel they read. These posters are to be displayed in the library (kids can then scan the QR code to see if that novel peaks their interest).

 

One of my favorite parts of teaching is collaborating with other colleagues within the division. We have a wealth of wise people using uniquely effective methods right here in Park West.

After school hours, I enjoy time with my family and friends as well as golfing, curling, doing yoga and digital scrapbooking. I have 2 sons, Brendan & Zach. My oldest son is studying Horticulture at ACC & my youngest son is in Gr. 10. Both of them are avid outdoorsmen, often bringing fish home to filet and enjoy.

October 15th, 2018

Shelley Robidoux - Binscarth School Teacher

I have been a teacher for 34 years. 

I am currently teaching grades 7/8 ELA, Science and French. I also teach grade 4/5/6 French.

The most rewarding part of my job is working with my students each day and seeing their growth and improvement as the year progresses. 

Having been a French teacher has been an awesome experience and I will be forever grateful for having the opportunity to start my career as Madame Robidoux.

When I am not working, I love to spend time at our cabin connecting with nature. I always look forward to reading a good book and connecting with family. 

October 8th, 2018

David Hofer - Monarch Colony School German Teacher

David Hofer is the German Teacher at Monarch Colony School and has occupied that role since the school opened in December, 2016. He offers support and advice to the teachers of “English School,” and enjoys creating a good learning environment for the Colony’s children. The addition of a new play structure has enhanced the environment this year. David appreciates the efforts and support of the Park West Board and Division staff.

 

In addition to being the German School Teacher, David is the Minister and the Colony Administrator. David and his wife, Tilley, have 4 children; the youngest is a student at our school. 

October 1, 2018

Dana Barteaux - Park West School Division Trustee

How long have you been doing what you are doing and what is your current assignment?

I have been a Trustee with the Park West School Division for the past 4 years and am looking forward to the next 4.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

As a Trustee I really appreciate being part of the conversation about what the division will look like in the future and enjoy the challenges of the decision making process at budget time. 

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

It has been an honor to sit on the Citizenship Committee and I look forward to reading the applications. I enjoy seeing all of the amazing things our students are doing across the division. 

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

I am proud that I have been able to effectively listen to and advocate for the Park West School Division community. 

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

In my spare time I enjoy volunteering in my community and photographing the world around me. 

September 24, 2018

Amber Nerbas - K-8 Literacy and Numeracy Facilitator

How long have you been doing what you are doing?     
I have worked at Inglis School for the past 11 years as the 5/6 classroom teacher and I am brand new to my current position.

What is your current assignment?  
K-8 Literacy and Numeracy Facilitator

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?  
As a classroom teacher I enjoyed collaborating with other teachers and trying out new ideas in the classroom.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?  
So far everyday has been different, everything from working with data to exploring and preparing new resources that are available for the classroom. New books are always exciting!
 

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?  
I am most proud of how I always look for better ways to do things in the classroom; better resources and strategies, use of technology, classroom design, movement and mindfulness.

What do you like to do when you are not working?  
When I'm not working I'm spending time with my family (2 girls and husband). We love to travel and go to the lake. 

September 17th, 2018

Jody Percival - Executive Assistant to the Board, the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent

How long have you been doing what you are doing?

I started my position at Park West School Division at the end of July 2018. 

 

 What is your current assignment?

I am the Executive Assistant to the Board, the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent.

 

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

Currently I am working on preparing our upcoming division newsletter. Being new to my role there is lots to learn.  I am enjoying all of the variety of projects that have come my way.        

 

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

When I am not working I love to spend time with my fiancé and our two small boys who keep us very busy!

September 10, 2018

Don Cochrane - Trustee Elected Ward 6 (Strathclair/Elphinstone/Newdale)

I have been a trustee for over 11 years. When I was first elected, I thought that a four year commitment was a long time . . my how the years have flown by. You hear the saying' time flies when you're having fun',, and this certainly would largely be the case in my 11 years. While there have been tough times, with really really difficult choices to make , the amazing people I have found in the education system have served to make it all ,not only worthwhile, but a duty I willingly chose over and over again.

 

While I have served as board chairman for a number of years, and as vice for a few more, my current role is as trustee for the division and appointed member for the division on the new fiber optic co-op. (where I current serve as president)

 

While there are many areas that I find rewarding , I must admit that when kids are in the mix ...my attention is absolute. I find that they keep me 'young' and involved with life. What a rewarding career people have chosen. No

where in life is there any higher calling than what educators are doing.

 

While budgets are harder now than a few years ago, and the struggles with a changing societal landscape make for less than joyous parts of this role, helping to put tools into the hands of teachers that end up impacting that single young person ..otherwise lost ..is incredibly satisfying.

 

There are many things that I have had the priviledge to be part of over the last almost dozen years.The items I feel most satisfaction with as a legacy are: clarity on bus catchment areas, Waywayseecappo educational partnership

and our most recent move to owning our own fiber optic network in a fashion that has allowed for enhancement of the communities within our foot print.

 

This is to be my last year, and as such one tends to try to piece together what life will be like post school board. While I like to 'putter' in my garage and my wife and I like to  travel extensively ..my two passions are my 1500cc vulcan motorcycle and my beautiful and talented grandchildren.  They will keep me focused and engaged as I transition to full retirement.

May 21, 2018

Stephanie Cooke - Waywayseecappo School Secretary

I started work as school secretary at Waywayseecappo in September 2001. This is easy to remember this as it was when my son stared grade 1. We started elementary the same day haha. 

I love that everyday is different but I still get to see all the smiley faces of the students. While our days are long and hectic it makes it worth it when the students bring me a drawing they made or even the good ole 'flower boquet' of dandelions. 

Even tho the office is always busy, I find it rewarding that I am getting to know the students as they come through the office. I do find it very neat to tell some of the students that I went to school with a parent of theirs. I really like being in the office when the nursery and kinders come by to explore the school. 

What makes me proud is when the students come back to the school after they been away from here, with new eyes to the world. They come back to thank the teachers and office for the help, support and guidance we offered. 

When I am off work I just like to stay home spending time with my family. I love being an aunt to all my neices and nephews as I usually have one of them with us. I am looking forward to the summer weather so I can get our garden planted. 

May 7, 2018

Rebecca Okemow - Strathclair School Teacher

I started my high school teaching position at Strathclair Community School in September 2014. Since starting at Strathclair I have taught a variety of courses which have included humanities, physical education, Spanish, ICT, and Indigenous studies.  My current assignment includes senior high physical education, life works, and foods and nutrition.

The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know students and unleashing their potential.  Everyone is capable of contributing something.  When students are in high school they are about to transition into life on their own. Building independence and making good choices is something I work on daily with my students. It is also interesting to listen to class discussions as students develop ideas and perspectives. 

Teaching my students to bead was challenging but meant a lot to me because I remember my great aunt sitting with me and showing me how to bead when I was very young. It was very rewarding to have the opportunity to share that knowledge with my students and I am very proud of the beaded pieces they completed. 

There are so many things I enjoy doing I feel like I don’t have the opportunity to enjoy them all, but my favorites are fishing, going for walks, and spending time in nature. I also enjoy a good book and spending time with my friends and family. 

April 30, 2018

Robin Reister - Shoal Lake School Educational Assistant

In September of 2017 I started my position at Shoal Lake School as an Educational Assistant. I
currently work throughout the Elementary, Middle School and High School grades. I have
always been someone who absolutely loves children, I have six of my own!


One of the things I love the most about this job is how much I learn about myself from these
amazing kids. Each and every one of the students I work with, along with many other students
in the school have had an impact on my life. There is something so therapeutic about being
around children. Admittedly, some days are harder than others, but at the end of the day there
is so much to be thankful for.


Watching each of these students overcome frustrations and difficulties, from academics to
relational and personal esteem issues has been one of the most rewarding things. I have the
privilege to witness these little beings conquer so many things, and to be truthful, their strength
has so encouraged and strengthened me in my own life.


After the school day is over I like to spend time with my children. We spend a bit of time on the
road going to their activities and sports programs. I also enjoy writing, reading, and anything
that involves creating.


I am a kid at heart and feel like I have found the right place for me.

April 23, 2018

Lesley Wray - Rossburn Elementary Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing? 

​This is my 11th year teaching and my assignments have ranged from teaching all subjects throughout grades 2-10. This is my 7th year at Rossburn Elementary School.

  

What is your current assignment?
Currently, I am teaching grade 5 and 6 Math, along with K-8 Phys. Ed.

  

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is having conversations with the students. I enjoy getting to know them and developing relationships with them. Every student is so unique in their own way.

 

I also enjoy teaching students that “we all learn differently and at different stages in life. That it is important we are all still learning new skills and it is normal to not know how to do things and to encourage and accept everyone with respect”.  I love telling my students to battle it out when faced with any disputes in the gym. They love the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” war!

 

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Before Christmas, We were taught how to code and my math students love it. We also have a math economy happening in our classroom where students earn, lose, and spend money, while balancing every transaction in their check books. Check books get reviewed weekly as the amount in their wallets must match what is in their check book.

 

In gym class we are wrapping up our Badminton unit. The younger grades learn about badminton and practice little circuits to develop some skills before being introduced to the game.

  

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

Organizing the school cross country ski and skating program. I love winter sports and believe every Canadian child should know how to ski and skate. I also like to wrap up the winter by taking one of my classes to Deep Lake to go cross country skiing in the forest. I look forward to attending the 2018 National Physical Education Conference in Whistler, B.C.

 

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

I enjoy figure skating. Along with my daughter, I still take lessons. I also joined a synchronized skating team and it has been a great season. In a recent competition, our team won Gold at the 2018 Skate Canada Manitoba Crocus Invitational. I also love spending time with my family, playing games and doing activities together.

April 16, 2018

Rick Rubeniuk - Head Custodian Rossburn Collegiate

Worked at RCI since 2007

I find my job rewarding after the clean is complete.  I really appreciate how supportive our students and staff are in allowing me to complete my duties as required.  We have two Boot Boys (automated footwear brushes) that students and staff use to reduce the tracking of dirt and mud into the school.  


I also get satisfaction with the appearance of the gym and floors throughout the school following waxing.  In my leisure time I enjoy fishing and camping.  I also enjoy making smoked sausage, pepperettes and jerky.

April 9th, 2018

Trevor Lewis - Minota School Principal

How long have you been doing what you are doing? 
This is my 24th year teaching.  For the first 2 years of my career I taught in York Landing, a fly-in community north of Thompson.  I then moved to Miniota, where I took over the principalship during my 2nd year, and have been here ever since.

What is your current assignment?
Along with my principal duties, I teach grade 7 & 8 Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Grade 5 to 8 Physical Education

What part of your job do you find most rewarding? 
The best part of my job is the people I get to work with on a daily basis, whether that is the students or the staff.  In terms of the students, it is always great to see the growth that they make over the course of the year or when the "light goes on" for them when trying to learn a new/difficult concept.  However, the thing I enjoy most is just having those personal conversations with them about how their day is going, what they did on the weekend or just something that is important to them at the time.

In terms of the staff, being able to collaborate with a group of people that all have similar goals in mind is important.  The collegiality we have in Miniota, both professionally and personally, makes it a great place to want to come to work every day so being able to work in such an environment is very rewarding.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud? 
I volunteer a lot of my time to coaching school sports.  I am a strong believer that sports can provide many positive opportunities for any student in the school so I try to make sure those opportunities are there for our students.  The sports program is something I have worked very hard over my years in Miniota to build and maintain and is something I am quite proud of.

What do you like to do when you are not working? 
I spend much of my time outside of school coaching the various teams my 3 boys are involved in.  I also like to still play the odd sport or two when I get the opportunity.  Other than sports, I like to camp, fish, hunt or do any of those types of activities with my family.

April 2nd, 2018

Donna Herechuk – Major Pratt School Library Clerk

I started out in the Division way back in 1986. I worked at Inglis School as an Educational Assistant, which was then changed to Secretary/E.A then to Secretary/Library Clerk. In 2003 I was hired as the fulltime Library Clerk at Major Pratt and I am still in this position today.

I love to see students find a series of books they just can’t get enough of! Happy smiling faces that love to come to the library and read. We try to do many different things in the library to get students interested in reading. Our latest was “I Love To Read Bingo”.  Amazing what a little prize can do!!!

I would have to say that there are 2 major things that I have been involved with that I am most proud of. The first one was switching the K-6 & 7-12 libraries around and making both sides inviting and fun to come to in their own way. The second which is ongoing, is to have the opportunity to learn the “Destiny” library program and become the go-to-person for the program and to be a presenter to let the administrators and staff members throughout the Division know what amazing things this program has to offer.

When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with family & friends, playing cards, fishing, quadding, gardening, bonfires and “SPOILING” the grandchildren.

March 19th, 2018

Kerry Dunn - Inglis School Teacher

I have been teaching students in school for over 20 years.  Presently I am teaching grade 2,3,4 in Inglis school as well as French from grades 2-8.  The part of my job that I find most rewarding is getting to know the children and staff members in the school and building relationships with them.  Presently I have started incorporating mindfulness into my classroom and personal life.  I find that it helps me deal with frustrations, makes me more aware of the present and what is happening, lets me forgive myself when I make mistakes, and helps me be more grateful for all the things, big and small, that I have in my life.  When I am not working, I like to do yoga, read, cross-country ski and spend as much time as I can with my grandson.

March 12th, 2018

Karlee Lee - Hamiota Elementary Educational Assistant

What is your current assignment?

I have been with Park West School Division since 2016, working at Hamiota Elementary School as an Educational Assistant. I work one on one with a student for half of the day and in grades 2 and 3 for the other half.

 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

I find it most rewarding working with the students and seeing them succeed.  I am proud to be a part of such an amazing team! 

 

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

When I am not at Hamiota Elementary School I love spending time with my family camping, fishing and golfing!

March 5th, 2018

Melissa Mitchell - Hamiota Collegiate Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing? 

​This is my 12th year teaching and all of my assignments throughout my career have either been teaching in French or teaching French. This is my third year at Hamiota Collegiate and my sixth year with the division.

  

What is your current assignment?
Grades 6-12 French, grades 7 & 8 visual arts and grade 10 Career Development. It’s a nice balance of students, subjects and projects!

  

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
It’s very rewarding when I hear the students conversing in French! I really enjoy assisting the students develop, expand and enrich their language skills, allowing them to become confident in themselves and their abilities!

I also feel that it’s important to help students understand the significance of Remembrance day and getting to see them participate with respect and pride in our Remembrance day ceremony is wonderful.

 

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
With Mrs. Obach’s help, I’m using Microsoft Class Notebook (digital binder) to facilitate my senior French IITV class. It’s designed for the students to keep all of their “papers” and assignments organized in an online platform and it also allows the students from different schools to communicate through video. We have found ways to French-ify it!

  

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

Organizing and overseeing festival du voyageur activities in the schools I’ve taught at. My senior students create and deliver the activities (in French) to all of the middle years students. It’s wonderful to hear students from different classes communicate with each other in French outside of the classroom.

 

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

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching my daughter play sports, travelling, reading, painting furniture, riding horses and taking equine holistic practitioner courses.

February 26th, 2018

Mark Waldner-Decker Colony School Teacher

My name is Mark Waldner and I’ve been teaching at Decker Colony school since 1996. That’s, what? 22 years!

I typically teach a variety of courses in the junior high to high school area, including social studies, English Language Arts, German, math and physical education. On the Hutterian Broadband network (HBNi-ITV) which includes over 30 Hutterite colony schools in MB, SD and MN, I’ve been teaching computer science. I’m also the principal of our school but my time is skewed a lot more towards the teaching portion of the position.

 

Over the years I’ve learned that I still have tons left to learn. There’s always something new or someone new to learn from. But I think what surprises me the most is the realization that tried-and-true often really is better for student learning and success. Of course, there are exceptions, but in general, if one takes care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves. Unfortunately, I have to relearn that all the time.

 

When I’m not working at the school, which is rare, I find something to do at the school. Literally.  But I do enjoy music and one of my hobbies has been to record various Hutterite Choirs: I’ve probably recorded about a dozen different choirs over the years. Part of this process includes editing and mastering a final CD which the recording choir then takes from there to reproduce. I’m currently working on a CD and have three more recordings booked for later this year.

February 26th, 2018

Jennifer Lyttle - Birtle Elementary Teacher

How long have you been doing what you?

I have been teaching at Birtle Elementary since 2006.
 

What is your current assignment? 

I am currently teaching a 2/3 class along with the Grade 4 French.
 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding? 

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing my students take risks especially my reluctant students in their learning and that it's also okay to make mistakes in our classroom.  We learn from those mistakes and they help us grow as learners.
 

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

Something that has made me proud is implementing an accentuated learning environment with flexible seating for the students in my classroom. 


It has shown that me that we all learn differently and can even concentrate better by using different tools from standing to using a rocking stool, or even a hokki stool.


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

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  During the summer my family loves to camp and in the winter you will usually find us somewhere at a rink watching hockey.
 

February 12th, 2018

Mrs. Snow (AKA Snowflake) - Birtle Collegiate Educational Assistant

Do you like a challenge? Are you looking for a rewarding way to spend your day? Can you think outside
of the box? Looking for a way to make a difference? Enjoy working with a wide variety of people who
have extraordinary personalities? Want to learn something new every day? If you answered yes to any
of these questions, maybe an EA position could be right for you!


It has been a privilege getting to know all the students and watching them grow, mature and change
over the years.(12 years so far and I hope to enjoy many more) It is my belief that all individuals will
flourish once they have found their place & purpose! I feel that it is our responsibility to help our
students figure out what that is so that they may reach their full potential!


When I'm not at BCI you can likely find me at home enjoying many hours of yard/garden work, at the
lake relaxing with family and friends or curled up with good book.

February 5th, 2018

Alana Stanchuk - Waywayseecappo School Teacher

How long have you been doing what you’re doing?
This is my second full year teaching at Waywayseecappo School.

What is your current assignment?
I am currently in my second year of teaching grade 5. I also coach many middles years’ sports.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing students grow throughout the year. It is very rewarding to see a student master a new skill.

What are some neat things you are doing now in your position? 
This year I have been working with our Literacy Coach focusing on the teaching of writing. It has been a wonderful learning experience as we collaborate together.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
This year I had a goal to help my students develop a love for math. I have been able to implement learning through math games, small groups, and whole class learning experiences. A part of this includes teaming up with the grade 3s for ‘math buddies’ to allow our class to teach other students math games.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my two children and husband. In the winter we spend the majority of our time at the rink, with hockey and figure skating. In the summer, I enjoy spending time back in Ontario with my family riding horses and relaxAlaing at the lake. When I have the time, I also enjoy running, playing baseball and soccer.

January 29th, 2018

Lois Tibbatts - Binscarth School Secretary

This is my 37th consecutive year as a secretary for Binscarth School. I have also held positions as librarian, teacher assistant and custodian within the school. I worked as secretary for two years in 1974 - 1976 as well but left the division for five years while I had my family. 

I enjoy working with the staff and students in our school. They are always respectful and helpful. I have been present for many changes within the school as well as staff and students. I enjoy being greeted by former students and others that come to the school to visit. 

I was one of the founding members of the Binscarth Nursery School when it first started. I took over the role of Campbell Soup Label coordinator and was proud of the day when our final reward of a portable score board arrived at our school. I have been instrumental in stating the Hot Lunch Program in our school and am still involved with it. I oversee all the fundraising events in the school as well. Besides the usual secretarial duties within the school, I do typing for other individuals and clubs. 

When not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family and my two daughters and six grandchildren. I have been a Respite Worker for 34 years, am Secretary for the Curling Club, work occasionally for Arbuckles, volunteer within the community, make buns for various clubs, groups and individuals, enjoy curling, camping and gardening.

January 22nd, 2018

Jackie Pedersen - Strathclair Librarian & Educational Assistant

How long have you been doing what you are doing? 

I have been working at SCS for 6 years now.

What is your current assignment?
Librarian and Educational Assistant.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
Working with the students in a K- 12 school.
Watching them grow and reach their goals is very rewarding.

 

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Right now I am learning more of the technical features Destiny library program has to offer. Some features include Light Box interactive books.

 

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

I am currently working with students that are in the ESL program. Watching how quickly they can learn a new language is remarkable.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
I enjoy spending time with family,friends,gardening and reading.

January 15th, 2018

Leah Logan - Shoal Lake School Teacher

I have lived in the fabulous community of Oakburn/Shoal Lake for 7 years and this is my third year teaching in Shoal Lake School.  I have been here in different guises; teaching as a substitute, to Grade 5 teacher, to high school science, to middle school social studies, and am currently 0.5 Grade 3 and 6 science, Grade 9 SS and Grade 10 geography.


One of the most rewarding aspects of this position is being involved in both the elementary and the high school ends, and therefore getting to know all the students in all the classrooms.  


I am involved in the subject of recycling with the Grade 3 science class and we are thinking of what recycled products want to be when they "grow up"!  If a plastic water bottle could choose what it wants to be in it's next life then what would it be?  We have been looking at paper too and so I am giving them the copportunity to produce a little cartoon picture of their thoughts. 


I am proud of my role as a single working Mum with 3 boys in the same school,  who are also proud of me and willing to be associated with me in the hallway!


When I am not working I enjoy to ski and read, when I am not a taxi service, cook, cleaner or chief bottle washer :)

January 8th, 2018

Gretchen Layh-Antoniw - Rossburn Elementary Educational Assistant

Gretchen has been with Park West School Division since 2015, in the position of an Educational Assistant at Rossburn Elementary School. She is a dedicated and resourceful support for many students, and currently works primarily with a student who has multiple needs in the early years area. For example she spend most of her day in the Grade 1/2 and has done a fantastic job at finding creative ways to include the student during both academic and social tasks, as well as physical education and recess times. Gretchen finds her work particularly rewarding in that she feels she is making a difference. As well, she likes the challenges and finding ways to get around them and keep moving forward in the best interest of the students. She also appreciates the relationships she has built with the students and their families. Some neat things that Gretchen is doing currently is experimenting with various hands-on activities that engages students and meets their needs. During the month of December, she is finding ways to celebrate and incorporate Christmas themes into effective learning. Something that Gretchen has done in her role to make her proud is the progress of the students and overcoming the seemingly insurmountable milestones. Looking back, she is amazed at how far students have come. When not working, Gretchen likes to garden, bake, and be outdoors. She also likes to spend time with her family, which includes her husband, and two children who also attend RES.

December 18, 2017

Marlin Penner - Rossburn Collegiate Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?

 This is my third year teaching since I graduated with my Bachelor of Education in 2015.

 

What is your current assignment?

 I currently teach Grade 9 and 10 Science as well as Physics, Chemistry and Biology along with some math.

 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?

 When students get excited about learning new things or achieve mastery over a skill.  I also particularly enjoy it when students come to appreciate the wonders of nature as discovered in a scientific process like experiments.

 

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

 Introducing students to the process of scientific discovery, not just by carrying out experiments but by designing their own experiments and implementing them.

 

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

 I take pride in testing various experiments that I teach, to improve them as well as using students’ results to make them better as well.  I am proud in assisting my students to develop and implement experiments themselves that really demonstrate scientific principles, showing that the ideas they are learning are not just things they have to learn but have real world implications.

 

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

My favourite past time is wilderness canoe tripping.  In general I like to get out into natural settings far from civilization.  I also like to travel.  I have visited all the provinces and territories except for Nunavut.

December 11, 2017

Laurie Sheane - Miniota School Secretary & Librarian

How long have you been doing what you are doing? 
I have been working at Miniota School since 2011.

What is your current assignment? 
I am the secretary and librarian at the school. I am also an education assistant and provide part of the noon duty on the playground.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
I really enjoy helping our students, staff and parents with whatever I can! 

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position? 
I am looking forward to the PD for librarians in December! It is great to meet with other librarians!

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud? 
Our school library has been "renovated"! A lot of people have worked very hard to make our library better!!

What do you like to do when you are not working? 
I love to travel, garden, read and spend time with my family and friends!

December 4, 2017

Greg Clark - Major Pratt School Teacher

How long have you been doing what you’re doing?
This is my third year teaching high school math at Major Pratt School.

What is your current assignment?
I teach grade 9 math and transitional math, grade 10 intro to applied and pre-cal, and grades 11 and 12 applied math. I am also the coach of the JV girls basketball team.

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing students excited for math. When students enter the classroom happily with an eagerness to learn and participate then it tells me that they are excited.

What are some neat things you are doing now in your position? 
Something I am experimenting with in transitional math is teaching through mental math. For struggling learners, sometimes basic math skills prevent them from going further, so we take a mental math approach to develop new strategies to answer math problems that were challenging to students using traditional methods.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
Something I take pride in is creating a classroom atmosphere that is relaxed and inviting. Math is often a subject that many students don’t like so having a classroom where they can feel at ease is important to their success.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I am not working I am heavily involved in baseball in the summer and curling in the winter; both playing and coaching my kids’ teams. With whatever free time is left, I enjoy camping, golfing, and carting my children around to various activities.

November 27, 2017

Faye Nowosad - Hamiota Collegiate Teacher

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I have been working in this division for a long time!! This will be my 21st year. I spent many years at Decker Colony School, and I loved my experiences there and the long lasting friendships I made. This is my 6th year here at Hamiota Elementary. We are so very fortunate to have such a supportive, fun, and dedicated staff.

What is your current teaching assignment?
This year I am back teaching grade 1 at Hamiota Elementary.

What part of of your job do you find most rewarding?
For me, building relationships with my students and my fellow co-workers is very rewarding.

What is something you have done in your role that makes you proud?
I am really proud of the work I did to create an accentuated learning environment classroom for my grade 4 students last year. The changes I made to my classroom (with much support from our Resource teacher), I felt really benefited my students learning. They were with me for two consecutive years, and they were able to express the positive differences they felt in their own learning and concentration.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I love spending time with my family. Our three children keep us very busy with their many activities. I wouldn't change it for anything. When we aren't at the hockey rink, gymnastics, 4-H, yoga, or the golf course, we love to spend some down time watching movies, playing games or just relaxing outside. We look forward each year to our family holiday at Kavanaugh's Resort.

November 13, 2017

Tiffany Crampton - Hamiota Collegiate Educational Assistant

How long have you been doing what you are doing?
7 years

What is your current assignment?
I am an Educational Assistant and have been working one on one with the same student since September, 2014

What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the look on a student's face when they master a new skill or concept and realize that all of their hard work has paid off.

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Work experience is neat because it allows both of us to learn about a job in our community and is interesting to see how the student I work with interacts with people in a non school environment.

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
I am proud of the working relationship that has developed over the years between the student I support and myself. I believe that we work well together and I have enjoyed watching them grow socially and academically.

What do you like to do when you are not working? 
When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, coloring, and knitting

November 6, 2017

George (Butch) Wipf - Decker Colony School Teacher

I have been teaching K-12 music for 30 years or so. Even before I obtained my teacher’s degree from BU, our colony elders recognized my passion for music and asked if I would consider teaching our students once or twice a week. Being fulltime occupied in the pig barn, I enthusiastically agreed. Every Tuesday and Friday, after getting most barn chores done, I quickly jumped into a shower and ran to school. After an hour of active fun-music-teaching, back to the barn I ran... and was ready for another shower when the chores of the day were done! It is truly exciting to now have young students in my music class whose parents I also had when they were in kindergarten!

I currently teach middle years math, ELA and German as well as high school music. In music I mainly teach theory and note reading to prepare our students for choral singing. After school hours, I also direct our colony choir.

Being a First Aid instructor, I will be teaching Basic FA to the K-6’s and Standard First Aid with level C-CPR to the higher grades and adults.

It is hard to say what part of my job is most rewarding. One joy is to hear my young students sing well in unison and another is to hear my older students sing in parts and in good harmony. But it is nonetheless heart-warmingly rewarding to see my overall students ‘getting it’ in any subject area.

When not in school, I enjoy simply being outdoors. I tend about 100 grapevines which need constant care and trimming all summer long. Beside that, much time is spent composing songs for children and four-part songs for my youth and adult choirs.

Getting up in age certainly does not minimize my joy in teaching. I am thrilled when my younger students ask me questions such as, “Butch, you have gray hair already. Are you a grandpa yet?” Not being married, I tell them, “Oh, no! I’m not a grandpa. I’m just an elderly teenager!” They so seriously look at me as if to say, “Now we understand. That kind of makes sense.”

October 27, 2017

Alison Willmott-Bennion - Birtle Elementary Librarian & Educational Assistant

How long have you been doing what you are doing? 
7 years 

What is your current assignment?
Librarian and Educational Assistant 

What part of your job do you find most rewarding? 
I love to see the smiling faces of the children once they have faced their fears and accomplished their goals. 

What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position? 
I am reading Flat Stanley to the Kindergarten class at the moment. My sister who lives and works at a pre-school in England will be sending us a Stanley. We will compare the differences in the weather, communities and schools. Our library Flat Stanley will be sent to them. We can’t wait to see what adventures he will have! 

What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud? 
A few years ago I had an idea to collect money for the Lady Bug foundation for homeless people in Winnipeg. The school purchased mason jars and they get painted and placed around the community. We have recycled these jars each year for different causes and charities locally and elsewhere. We have raised money since then with the same jars for the Fires in Fort McMurray and our playground fundraiser. Every penny counts! 

What do you like to do when you are not working? 
I like to read, colour, travel and spend time with my family.

October 23, 2017

Alan Wilson - Birtle Collegiate Teacher