Class Notes | Spring 2014

Joyce Cutts, BEd 1954, “I graduated from U of A with a Physical Education degree in 1954. I did most of my teaching in the province of Quebec. I earned a Sabbatical in 1971 and went to the University of London, England and earned a Graduate Diploma in the Education of the Handicapped.

I kept up my physical fitness and excelled in tennis across Canada. I was a National Champion in Ladies Doubles four times and a Provincial champion in Singles, once in Ontario. Because of the awards in tennis, Tennis Canada placed me on the Canadian Super Senior Team 8 times. I have played in Turkey (4 times), Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Austria and the US. In 2012 and 2013 - I was on the winning over 80 age Canadian Women's team both years, which played in Croatia and Austria. Also in 2012 - my Mixed Doubles partner and I came third in the World and in 2013 - my partner from the Netherlands and I came third in the World in Ladies Doubles. By the way these Super Senior Tournaments are sponsored by ITF - (International Tennis Federation.)

Joyce CuttsMy efforts in golf have not been too bad either. I have had 5 holes in one and am the recipient of several senior golf awards in Ontario. I spend my winters in Florida and play on two Ladies Tennis Teams. I was inducted into the Sports Wall of Fame at the U of A in 2004 and Inducted into the Welland Sports Wall of Fame in 2013.

I have also donated money to the U of A - setting up a scholarship fund to help worthy students in the name of myself and my sister, Eunice Mattson.

In the sport of tennis - I help promising players in the city of Welland to get extra coaching and I rally with the young players as well. Some of the tennis students never know who is helping them financially and that is between the tennis pro and me.“

Morris Treasure, BEd ’61, Grad Dip ’66, PhD ’75“In the summer of '61, while completing the graduation requirements for my BSc, I took an additional course in Ed Psych offered by a graduate student, Harvey Zingle. During the summer I found that I had a profound interest in teaching and with Harvey's help I discovered a passion for teaching. The rest is history, after a career in teaching in Junior High and High School, I joined Alberta Education as a Superintendent, Curriculum Consultant in Math and Science, School Inspector, Researcher and Associate Director in three different units, I retired in 1993 still amazed that they paid me to do work that I loved.”

A. J. (Sandy) DawsonA. J. (Sandy) Dawson, Ph.D. 1969, “After graduating in 1969, I was hired at Simon Fraser University (SFU), where I directed the SFU’s Teacher Education Program for ten years. In 1999, I accepted a position with Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) in Honolulu. In 2003, the University of Hawai‘i (UH) recruited me and have since worked at both PREL and UH, where I’ve directed three National Science Foundation funded (approximately $7 million) projects for PREL, and created and implemented an on-line Doctoral Program in mathematics education for UH. I recently retired from UH with emeritus status, but I still work for PREL across the Micronesian region of the western Pacific.”

Cynthia June Skelton (Megley), 1970, “From a young girl I wanted to become a teacher and did so, graduating in 1970. I thoroughly enjoyed my thirty-year career all at Jasper Place High School in my hometown of Edmonton. Retiring early in 2000, I have taken up painting in acrylics and recently in watercolors I am fortunate to winter in Hawaii where I enjoy golfing and being outdoors as well as painting and being with my wonderful second family away from home.”Cynthia June Skelton (Megley)

Helmer (Hal) A. Anderson B.A, Pd/Ad, Dip Ed., Since 1974 employed by Calgary Board of Education as teacher/reading consultant;

  • 1976 Left the employ of the C.B.E. and started a private educational clinic in Calgary;
  • 1979 Co-,founded the Foothills Academy, set up curriculum and in-take program and hired the staff; was Executive Director of the school for its first year of operation and then returned to my private practice (for reference see Alberta Report magazine, May 2/1980 issue);
  • 1981 Co-founded the Calgary Academy, established school's programs and hired staff; remained as Executive Director for its first ten years of operation (returned to private consulting in 1991);
  • 1984 Was approached by the Edmonton Society for Children with Learning Disabilities to set up the Edmonton Academy. I hired the staff and set up the curriculum for the school; then returned to my duties at the Calgary Academy;

“These schools have thrived and expanded their enrollments over the last three decades. Thousands of Alberta students who struggled and failed in conventional schools have succeeded academically in these specialized learning environments; a large number of these students continue on and succeed at universities, colleges and technical educational institutions, fulfilling their true potential. I am most gratified at these outcomes and I owe a debt of gratitude to the University of Alberta for instilling in me the knowledge and skills that made it all possible.”

Susan Ann LukeySusan Ann Lukey, B.Ed. 1981,“Seeing the joy my mother found in teaching, and having many delightful experiences of working with children at the swimming pool and in church during my teen years, it was a natural fit to study education. My passion for education and working with children was lived out first as a classroom teacher in the public school system and then, for the past 25 years, in following my calling as an ordained minister within the United Church of Canada. I find great joy learning, exploring and sharing faith with the children and families in our congregation. Our Children’s Worship program is rooted in Montessori education. There is nothing better than seeing the sparkle in a child’s eye when they make a new discovery about life and faith, and then having the privilege of hearing what they have to share."

Marv Machura, BEd, “I recently relocated to Vernon, BC after teaching for the past 23 years at the former Alberta Vocational College, in Edmonton. I am continuing to teach, write, and perform here in the Okanagan Valley. Recent work includes my book of poetry (Wonder), my CD (I Want You). I have also started a story slam competition and am active in several nature/environmental groups such as SPrKL (Society for the Preservation of Kalamalka Lake) and the Allen Brooks Nature Centre. Recently, I received a commission to write a song for 125 anniversary of Allen Brooks’ life. I am looking forward to presenting at the Greater Okanagan Teacher’s Convention this coming week: The Transformation Power of Wonder in Teaching and Learning.” I continue to work on my “Machura on McLuhan” online publication as well as performing and re-establishing myself in the Okanagan Valley. See my website for all updates, etc."

M. Jennie FrostM. Jennie Frost, BEd 1982, began her career teaching full-time Latin (gr. 6-12), but is now a professional storyteller and author. In 2013 Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada chose her to record for their StorySave Project. SC – CC records one Canadian storytelling elder each year to preserve his/her unique voice and repertoire as part of Canada’s oral heritage ( Jennie’s 3-CD set was launched in Ottawa last July and in Edmonton in November. She has had prizewinning stories and poems published in literary journals and anthologies, and tells stories for audiences of all ages in a large variety of venues.

Wayne Pendleton, BEd 1983, “I have been an educator most of my working life and into retirement. I have taught at all levels of education: primary, secondary, tertiary (college and university), mostly in Australia. My main Focus has been training adults in accounting, business law and management:

  • fifteen years full-time and eight years part-time in the Queensland state college system known as TAFE
  • four years as a sessional lecturer at each of two universities: University of New England and James Cook University
  • four years as managing director of a privately owned training company
  • co-author of the first six editions of the plain English business law textbook for college students entitled Australian Business Law.

I was awarded a Master of Applied Law degree from the University of Queensland in 2003 just prior to my sixty-fourth birthday. I guess I’m a reasonable example of life-long learning!”

Caren NagaoCaren Nagao, BEd 1989, “I chose to be a teacher by the age of six. As the youngest child in my family, when I tired of chasing after my brothers, I ended up in my room with stuffed animals and a Mrs. Beasley doll that was full of sweetness and delight. She was my first practicum teacher, and an inspiration. Our resources were a fantastic volume of books entitled My Book House which progressed from nursery rhymes to college level biographies of literary icons such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Over the years, Mrs. Beasley and I taught many young children the joys of reading.

After my graduation from U of A in December of 1988, I began teaching in Golden, British Columbia in March of 1989. It was the perfect location for me, with family living in both Alberta and B.C. I began teaching special education at the primary level. I met my husband here, and am at the tail end of raising three girls, Hanako, Tamika and Midori.

Over the years, I have taught special education and in the regular class at many levels, including high school. I have seen many changes in education, especially with regards to inclusion of special needs children, early intervention, and the very exciting expansion of brain research with regards to learning. I am happy about the recognition of the importance of play in learning, for people of any age. Recently I have been very excited about the success of teaching leadership and self-regulation through Leader In Me, and teaching reading with Daily 5 and Catching Readers Before They Fall.

Greg De Vries, BEd 1996, “Upon graduating in 1996 I found secondary math teaching work in BC. It was a major struggle for 6 years, so much so that I trained as a commercial pilot. Of course I completed my training in September of 9-11, and flying jobs became very scarce for low-time pilots. Searching for work, I returned to the classroom to fund my growing family. The change of position was revolutionary for my life as a teacher. I moved from being a static math teacher to a multi-skilled computer, law, accounting, business and math teacher. The change forced my growth as a teacher and altered my perception of the job from one of drudgery to excitement. Today I am back as the math teacher in a secondary school but am using my past experiences to make my classroom a more dynamic and exciting place to be.”

Tim Bowman, BEd 1997, “After graduating from the UofA in 1997, I quickly found employment as a K-9 music teacher in Spruce Grove. I then moved on to spend 14 years with Red Deer Public - the last two years as the Music Curriculum Specialist for the division. I returned to the UofA for a Master’s degree in School Leadership in 2010 which has led to my latest posting as assistant principal in Whitecourt. In the classroom, as a community band director, or as an administrator, my greatest joy has come from helping others discover their potential through arts education.”

Ray SuchowRay Suchow, BEd 1990, “It's hard to believe it's been 24 years since graduation! I've been a busy graduate during that time, having taught in a variety of locations throughout Alberta while completing a TechEd Certificate (McGill), my Master's in Religious Education (Newman), and a Grad Certificate in Catholic School Admin (Newman). I currently teach Computers (7-9), Info Proc/Comm (10-12), and Religious Studies (7-9) at Christ The King School in Leduc. I've published several educational articles (in Alberta and beyond), have been married for 25 years, and have two beautiful children.”

Lisa WhitsonLisa Whitson, 2007, “I had always had a passion for working with teens and for theatre, and when I began my degree at the U of A, I was able to combine those two passions into one career. I enjoyed my time there and was constantly challenged as both an educator and an artist.

I have been teaching Performing Arts for St Albert Public Schools for five years now and continue to be challenged as an educator and an artist, just this time by my students! I love all the experiences that come from teaching high school theatre and have even continued to run and grow the adult production company Rare Form Theatre I started while university.”

Marla Freitag, PhD 1996, Since graduating with a Ph.D. in Secondary Education from the University of Alberta in 1996, Marla Middleton Freitag has been fortunate to receive the 2010 Academic Achievement Award from Medicine Hat College, the 2011 Innovation in Teaching Award from ACIFA (Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculties Association), a 2011 Excellence Award from NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) and in 2011 she was inducted into the Alumni Honor Society at the University of Lethbridge and in 2013 she was inducted into Palliser Regional Schools Wall of Fame.Marla Freitag

One of Marla's high school teachers encouraged her to be a teacher which inspired her to follow this career path. Presently she is a program coordinator/instructor at Medicine Hat College.

Bruce Doig

Bruce Doig, MEd 2010, “In 2010, while I was the IT teacher at the American International School of Riyadh, I completed my Masters in Educational Studies. It made me realize that school leadership wasn't just a top down thing, but also worked the other way, from the bottom up. Now I am currently working at the International School of Ulaanbaatar, in Mongolia, where I am developing their MYP Design Technology program. It was made clear to me that the school was looking for someone to take a leadership role in enhancing and expanding students' learning in the program. The thinking skills I learned and the concept of leadership related to role have definitely helped me as I continue to work to define the program experiences and align curriculum with standards from Australia. “Thank you, UofA and a big shout out to all MES grads of 2010 - our program really was a MES, wasn't it?

Dana Rae JaculaDana Rae Jacula, BEd 2011, “Since Graduation I have completed an Inclusive Education Diploma and worked as a Resource Teacher in School District #23 (Central Okanagan). My current focus is on providing classroom teachers with strategies to promote social thinking for all students in their class, rather than just focusing instruction for students on the resource caseload. It is a challenging and rewarding job providing an inclusive experience for students of all abilities. “

Sarah Lun, BEd 2011, “If anyone could have given me notes about a career path in Education I would have gone back in time and given it to myself. I wanted a career in Fine Arts and being an art teacher seemed like the best choice at the time. However, few art teachers are ever hired in Edmonton so the note I’d like to leave myself is: don’t stick around at home! Go global. I’m now in China teaching ESL to 180 grade 1 students and I think I’m going to teach in another country next year. The learning experience is definitely worth it.”

Roslyn TaitRoslyn Tait, BEd 2012, I have always wanted to be a teacher, part of it stems from being the daughter of a teacher. Both my dad and mom went to U of A for post-secondary. My mom pursued Pharmacy and my dad pursued Education. My sister and I would go to many summer sport camps growing up and I was blessed to be able to walk the same halls in the Education building as my dad once did. Today, my dad and I work at the same high school, the one I went to only five years ago. I am following his footsteps in both teaching a coaching.

Brianne P Dugan, B.Ed 2013, “Education is a profession that called to me for as long as I can remember. Much to my sister and neighbor's chagrin, I remember "playing school" in our basement when I was younger. Four laborious years after my acceptance into Grant MacEwan and the U of A, I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Education in June 2013. I have never wanted anything as much as I want a career in Education. I am well on my way to fulfilling my life-long passion for working with hilarious and insightful, hormone fueled adolescents!"

Foster WalkerFoster Walker, Professor Emeriti, Philosophy of Education "I feel like taking this opportunity to say something about my life now. If anyone in the faculty of Education should be interested, I am living in Calgary, where I moved after early retirement in 1996.

Since then I have written and published much, taught part time for the U of C philosophy department, organized and facilitated large dialogue groups, and I am currently teaching adult yoga teacher-training students philosophy and spirituality of Classical Yoga for the 10th year, and 200 pages into writing a book on 'Yoga Consciousness and Earth-healing.'

I am 73 (going on 53) on Friday! Best wishes to anyone who remembers me. The old Educational Foundations department was an exciting and supportive home for me for 20 years, and I must be one of many who still remember it with gratitude. My brief time in Educational Policy Studies was cut short by early retirement, and I must say that I can recommend retirement to anyone close to it."

Carrie Langevin, BEd 2003, Darrell Langevin, BEd 2000 Carrie's success with her company Mother Earth Essentials was recently celebrated at The Woman of Vision Awards Celebration in Edmonton. As a former teacher Carrie has bridged her love for education with her interest in cosmetology and founded a business that offers organic teas, lotions and health products made with traditional healing ingredients. Tapping into her Aboriginal heritage Carrie is sharing with the greater community an appreciation for the natural products offered by Mother Earth Essentials and inspiring young Aboriginals to embrace their culture. In addition to the Woman of Vision award Carrie was also the recipient of a 2013 Aboriginal Woman Entrepreneur Award of Distinction. Mother Earth Essentials was founded by Carrie along with her husband Darrell, they both continue to work together on the business and in their retail store in Edmonton.