Trustee Janet Brady resigning from school board at the end of school year

The School District of Mystery Lake (SDML) will be down to six trustees June 30 after vice-chairperson Janet Brady announced at the board’s May 22 meeting that she is resigning the seat she’s held since 2011.

In a follow-up interview with the Thompson Citizen, the 64-year old said she’s decided to step away from the world of education altogether, including her position at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Social Work.

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“I’m going to be retiring and I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “We have a couple more school board meetings. I’m still teaching a course here at the faculty, which I’ll be doing until the end of June as well.”

Once everything is wrapped up here in Thompson, Brady will be moving south, where she’ll spend a lot of her spare time teaching new Canadians how to read and write through the Winnipeg School Division.

“I wanted to do that for a very long time and as a retiree I’ll have an opportunity to help out the newcomers learning English as an additional language.”

The holder of a master's degree in social work from Carleton University in Ottawa, Brady has worn many hats throughout her career, including community activist, educator, health advocate and even an aspiring politician for the NDP.

Looking back at her 16-year run as an educator in Thompson, Brady said she’s always taken pride in being a “hands-on” school board trustee. This includes participating in Christmas concerts, science fairs, high school graduation ceremonies and any other event that is held by a SDML institution.

In terms of here position at the University of Manitoba, which she’s held since August of 2002, Brady said her greatest joy has been helping her students find practical field placements through the northern social work program.

“I enjoy working with the agencies, I enjoy seeing the students grow during their placements,” she said. “You see them gain confidence and get good at what they’re doing, so that’s a very satisfying part of the job, for sure.”

Even though she has one foot out the door, Brady still maintains that “public education is the great equalizer in our society” and hopes that her fellow educators in Thompson keep this sentiment alive once she is gone.

“That’s how we come through the ranks,” she said. “We start in public education and we become musicians, scientists, athletes or something else, and it all starts at the public education level. So we must never forget that.”

Chairperson Don Macdonald said that Brady’s soon-to-be-empty seat won’t be filled until the 2018 municipal election Oct. 24.

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