In 1993 I came to Yellowknife from Carievale, Saskatchewan on the recommendation of a University Professor. I was looking for “somewhere North” to do my final student teaching practicum and was offered a position at Range Lake North School. Today I support teachers as the Member Services Coordinator at the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association (NWTTA).
With out a doubt, the North offers unique opportunities that I would not have had in the South. Through my work in education, I participated in on-the-land activities and learned about Aboriginal culture and traditions through hands-on experiences. I wrote articles for the newspaper, travelled to northern communities and met incredible people. I feel good about the positive vibe the NWTTA’s “Thank You For Making a Difference” campaign has generated – almost 16,000 thank-you messages from students have reached NWT teachers over the past 13 years!
In the North, I’ve shared exciting learning adventures with many amazing students. We wrote and published books, blasted rockets, built a 30-foot rainforest and gave tours, fund-raised for less fortunate families in our community, hosted Dinosaur Digs and an around-the-world event called Expo ’94, and we even visited diamond polishing plants!
I’ve worked with people from all walks of life. I learned an incredible amount about Canada’s diamond industry when I partnered with industry, organizations and government to write ‘Canada’s Northern Diamonds – from rocks to riches’, and publish it in 2004. The book sold 6,000 copies and it won a Canadian Science Writers’ award and an international self-publishing award.
Do I feel like I’ve made my mark in the NWT? Absolutely! I’ve had an incredible journey filled with enough magical moments and memories to last a lifetime!