Gwendoline Dirk: Longtime teacher seeks trustee seat on MH Public School Division

·2 min read

Gwendoline Dirk hopes to apply her many years of experience in the education system as a board trustee for the Medicine Hat Public School Division.

Dirk graduated from the University of Victoria in 1986, then spent 33 years teaching in different school systems at varying levels; everything from Grade 5 Art to Grade 12 English and Social Studies.

The last part of her career was spent teaching adult development at Medicine Hat College for 13 years. The division closed in June of 2020, so Dirk decided to retire. That same month she also completed a Masters of Education from the University of Lethbridge, specializing in curriculum and assessment.

Dirk spent the last year deciding what her next step should be, while also volunteering with Saamis Immigration.

“I decided not to engage in subbing at that particular point, partly because of the pandemic and partly because I really needed to do some soul searching in terms of what I wanted to do. I’ve decided that I do not want to go into teaching again, because I strongly feel that it’s time to leave those jobs open for the next generation of teachers.”

Dirk says working on the school board is one way she could contribute.

“It is most important with possible challenges due to the pandemic,” said Dirk. “I do feel that because of the school closures, online learning situations, altered assessment practices, and possibly a continuing challenge for us, because it’s not over yet, there may be some learning deficit challenges.

“I feel with my background and expertise, I will be able to bring a perspective on how to best deal with these challenges.”

Dirk says the first things she would do is simply listen and learn.

“I’m very passionate and hardworking. I’m very focused when I take something on. I love to serve and help where I can,” Dirk said. “I feel that I have a wealth of information to contribute. I am a very creative and innovative thinker. I have lots of tools at my disposal and lots of experience in education.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO, Medicine Hat News

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