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Why YMM is Home

(2 votes)

We all seek joy and contentment in our lives. For many of us our family and our careers take up most up our lives and finding joy in them becomes life. I left the military after a long career and set out to start another. My family and I moved to Newfoundland and I started a new career as a teacher.

After our children were grown my wife and moved to Nova Scotia, I went back to university and she took a job with the uovernment. Our stay in Nova Scotia would prove to be temporary, my search for work in Nova Scotia proved fruitless. I went to a teachers Job fair held at a local university but there was no work in the Maritimes other than long-term substituting.

Looking beyond the NS borders we applied for work in Fort McMurray and accepted a job with the Fort McMurray Catholic School board in 2012.

I was drawn to teaching because I enjoyed working with youth. My time in Fort McMurray has been the highlight of my teaching career. I work in an education community that celebrates diversity and embraces uniqueness. The student population is culturally varied creating a student body that is very accepting.

My interest in Robotics started in Newfoundland with the MATE Underwater Robotics Competition. We entered teams annually in the provincial competition and even went to a world competition in California. Working with youth in these curricular and extracurricular activities has been very rewarding for me and the students.

When I moved to Fort McMurray I continued to pursue my interest in Robotics. Father Mercredi High School’s Science and Technology Center has provided me with an amazing facility to grow robotics programs. Through the support of Syncrude, NEXEN and Shell, the center has been able to grow into a world-class educational facility. We have programs and resources that give our students opportunities like no other. Our Robotics program has flourished inside the facility to become an entity in and upon itself called RSports (Robotics Sports). Students enjoy Robotics teams, courses and frequent competitions spanning four different types of Robotics, Lego, VEX, FRC and Skills.

Fort McMurray and the Catholic School District has been good to me, I have experienced considerable professional and spiritual growth as part of the education community of Fort McMurray. My wife and I often reflect that we should have moved here earlier so our children could have benefited from this community and its support.

As a teacher I have always felt that the success of what I do is directly connected to the success of my students and professionally I do not need anything further to keep me invested. One of the greatest honors as a teacher is to be recognized by your peers and your students. I have been very fortunate to be the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. This award is as much for my school and community as it is for me, thank you Fort McMurray.


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