FORT McMURRAY PUBLIC SCHOOL DIVISION
Shannon Noble: An FMPSD Icon Retires
You heard Shannon Noble before you saw her, she walks that fast. Darting from one meeting to another, helping students, families and staff, Shannon, a Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) icon, our Associate Superintendent, Inclusive Education, retired with her last day of work on October 24, 2020.
And, leaving an incredible legacy as she enjoys time with family on Vancouver Island, we know she’ll be missed by not only our Division but the community, as well.
Shannon was with FMPSD for over seven years but had a 30-year history working in local schools. We caught up with her for a quick interview during her last week in October 2020.
FMPSD: How do you feel about leaving?
Noble: I am finding it a bittersweet retirement week. As I move around the schools this week, I am taking the time to say goodbye to the staff and many students who touched my heart. And, of course, the many parents that I have collaborated with. I have always loved the energy and excitement within schools, and I will truly miss this energy.
FMPSD: What’s your biggest FMPSD and community accomplishment?
Noble: My largest portfolio, where I have had my greatest learning opportunity, was the 2016 wildfire, economic downturn, COVID-19 and finally, in April 2020 with the 100-year flood.
The many layers of trauma within four years have affected our schoolhouse on many levels. FMPSD has needed to adjust and set-up a framework to respond to the extra wellness supports that our students, families and staff are needing due to the abovementioned incidents.
We created a wellness team, which was able to support our staff, students and families with social workers and a mental health coordinator to oversee this framework.
This amazing group consists of mental health therapists, extra school counsellors, family therapists and play therapists. This framework allows FMPSD to offer support within the schoolhouse and is embedded into our everyday life within schools.
The data is clear that these supports are making a huge difference for our students. I am proud of the work that FMPSD has done in the area of supporting staff, students and family wellness.
FMPSD: What’s next for you?
Noble: I will take some time to dedicate to my family and rest-up. Then I am not sure. However, I have a feeling that I will be supporting youth and students in some fashion.
FMPSD says Farewell to Education Legend
Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD, can’t say enough positive things about Shannon.
“When I joined FMPSD this March, I quickly learned I could rely on Shannon,” said Turner. “Losing her is not only a big loss for FMPSD but for me, personally as well. She is a dear friend. I wish her the best of luck in retirement. She’s certainly earned the slower pace of life.”
The Board acknowledged Shannon’s numerous services with a standing ovation at her last meeting, where she also received a Doing What’s Best for Kids award, given to staff who go above and beyond always.
Her community work is a long list of contributions to local families. Passionate about early learning, Shannon sat on The Hub’s board, and on the Regional Collaborative Service Delivery group to represent FMPSD.
In 2017, she voluntarily started a local Tourette’s Syndrome parent support group. She is also one of the co-founders of the Autism group, which is now the well-known Autism Society of Wood Buffalo.
Tourette Canada noticed Shannon’s incessant efforts, and gave her the Educator Award, during National Volunteer Week in 2018. She also shared the prestigious Citizen Recognition Program: Mayor and Council’s Toast of Champions award with the Fort McMurray Catholic District and the Canadian Red Cross last year.
The trio won for the Wood Buffalo You Can Ride 2 Program. Launched in June 2019, the initiative provides adapted bikes so all children can have the opportunity to ride a bike. And, this year she was inaugurated into the coveted Girls Inc. Women of Inspiration series.
Three decades of ‘heart work’ and hard work touching local families - Doing What’s Best for Kids - the one and only, Shannon Noble.
For more information on any of our 16 schools, visit www.fmpsdschools.ca. For real-time updates: follow us on Twitter: @FMPSD and like us on Facebook: Fort McMurray Public School Division. Instagram @FMPSD.
- Shannon Noble (left) at her retirement party with Superintendent Jennifer Turner.
- Shannon Noble received many awards throughout her career in education, including the Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s Women of Inspiration induction in 2019.
- Noble received a Doing What’s Best for Kids award at her last board meeting with Chair Linda Mywaart (right) and Superintendent Jennifer Turner. Photos supplied