Staff Stories

Michelle, Child and Youth Care Worker
Having grown up in the West Kootenay, I decided I needed to spread my wings, and headed to Calgary in my 20s. It wasn’t long before those roots started to pull me back. A husband, three kids, and a Social Work Diploma later, I returned. I wanted to raise my kids in a safe, nurturing environment where we could camp, hike, dirtbike, ski, play hockey, dance, play soccer, and join ball. And we’ve done all of this, within 20 km of our house! 

I joined SD20 in 2016 as an Indigenous Support Worker. Since then I have had the opportunities to explore other positions such as Education Assistant, Child Care Worker and Child and Youth Care Worker in four different schools. I’m thankful to have worked with great people, including teachers, support staff and administrators. 

Prior to my career change, I had no pension, and minimal health and dental benefits, as my husband owns his own business. SD20 has brought security to our family with a pension and great benefits. AND every day (OK, most days) I love my job. Not many people can say that!
Robyn, Music Teacher

During the summer of 2018 I left my home province of Prince Edward Island on a cross-Canada trip visiting friends and family. My adventures led me to the Kootenays – and the adventure hasn’t stopped. Stunned by the sight of the mountains, and charmed by the friendliness of the locals, a little voice convinced me to look into employment prospects within the area. As luck would have it, my dream job was waiting for me at Crowe – high school music teacher. Over the years the dream, now reality, has only gotten better. Thanks to dedicated students, as well as a very supportive staff, administration, and school district, we are fortunate to have a strong music program at the high school. Our small, tight knit community often reminds me of PEI, and though I miss the easy access to fresh seafood, I can’t picture being anywhere other than where I am now.

Kathy, Administrative Assistant
I began working for School District 20 in 2006 following a move to this amazing part of BC. Hired as an on-call Educational Assistant, I had the opportunity to work at each school in the district gaining insight and knowledge to enhance my experience and training.  With many EA positions available, I quickly found myself in a regular position where I became part of an incredible collaborative team supporting special needs students.  
After 10 rewarding years as an EA, I was ready for something a little different.  Not wanting to leave the School District I chose to change classifications.  Once my education requirements were met, I secured an Administrative Assistant position at an elementary school.  The shift in classification has enabled me to stay with the district where I continue to grow, learn and support students.
Taunya, Bus Driver
I was a stay-at-home mom with my 4 children.  There came a time when they were all independent enough that I could go find work, but what job would allow me to stay on top of all the housework, and allow me to be home with my kids during the holidays? Driving a school bus was proposed. My first reaction was “not a chance!!! Could you imagine driving a bus full of children in the winter?”  But, after much thought and discussion, I decided to give it a chance.
To be honest, learning to drive a bus was terrifying in the beginning. However, as my skills and confidence grew, so did my feelings of pride and empowerment.

Next came the relationships I formed with the children on my daily route.  It’s so much more emotionally rewarding than just transporting them to and from school.  It’s being the person who eases the transition between home and school.  It’s finding a way to work with their moods and personalities.  It’s creating happy and respectful connections. 
There are many other aspects of bus driving that work so well with my busy family.  I can do all my housework while everyone is out of the house.  I can do all my errands while the stores are quiet. My weekends are free of chores because I have time to do them all in-between shifts. Dinner can be ready before everyone comes home hungry.  I am off work whenever my kids are on holidays.
I am so happy that I took that tentative first step 8 years ago.  School Bus driving has brought me more satisfaction than I could have ever imagined.
Scott, Custodian
I have worked for School District No. 20 for 3 years, and have had great opportunities to work, and also play!
Working as a custodian has given me a chance to get to know the entire SD20 staff and students. I was able to perform a song at Stanley Humphries Secondary School with a student and a teacher. It was so awesome that I had the chance to do more than just clean rooms.
Great people to work with, and great management!
Brittney, Student Support Teacher

I began my journey with SD20 as a kindergarten student and now, 20 years later, I continue to be part of the district as a teacher. Growing up and working in the Kootenays has fostered my appreciation of rural education. The connections you can make with staff and students create an environment where all can feel safe, supported, and ready to learn. Having started my career here, I can confidently say that I have had many opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and growth within the district. As a Student Support Teacher (SST), I am able to work with and learn from other SSTs within the district. Another amazing aspect of our area is the access to the outdoors, both during school time and after work. Being able to go skiing, hiking, and mountain biking after school and on the weekends helps with a work-life balance.
Chris, Information Systems Technician

It has been a fantastic ride so far at SD20! A ride that has encompassed many years in various roles – each role has provided immense enjoyment and wonderful learning opportunities!  Although the old “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence” took me away from SD20 for a couple of years, I learned quickly what my amazing SD20 colleagues and family brought to my personal and professional happiness! I have never looked back!

I originally started at SD20 as an Education Assistant and loved it! Over the years, I loved every minute as I worked my way into full-time positions during the school year and part-time with the maintenance department for summer help! Things moved forward and life brought me to applying for a new technology mentor trainer position – successfully obtaining it. 
 I have always felt completely supported by the amazing teamwork focus of SD20. At all levels I had, and still have, the opportunity to work with such impassioned, creative, and knowledgeable colleagues. This propelled me every day into gaining vast experience and skills within this “dual role” of support and IT. I am very proud of my contribution to the deployment of the GSUITE for Education and Chromebooks – working side by side with the IT department as well as passionate educators, to bring this amazing piece of educational technology to our classrooms.  

I was able to really contribute and make a difference in my position while growing my confidence, abilities, and love for providing aid to those I work with. I reached a point where another awesome, but terrifying professional opportunity presented itself - a full-time opening within the IT Department. With huge amounts of colleague support and encouragement, I took the chance and was successful in obtaining the position.  
If it was not for all of my years of valuable experience, learning opportunities, and examples of teamwork from SD20, I never would have been able to make that leap. I am so glad I did! 😊  

I look forward to what my professional career will continue to bring me as an employee at SD20. 
Jill, Administrative Assistant

I started with SD20, brand-new to the education sector. Moving from Vancouver Island, I was nervous about the unknowns and challenges that come with starting over; but despite those concerns, I saw working with the school district as an opportunity for personal growth and development toward a fulfilling career.

From the start, Onboarding with the school district was a seamless process. The district provided in-depth training, packed with resources and knowledgeable staff members who were easily accessible.

I've been with the district, coming-up two years, working at Stanley Humphries High School as an administrative assistant. There I provide clerical support to teachers and students and enjoy the energic atmosphere, positivity, and hard work I get to be a part of each day. Furthermore, my colleagues are incredibly supportive, and I look forward to building a future of longevity with both SHSS and SD20.

I feel so fortunate to come alongside the journey towards academic success of this community and to live and work in the Kootenays with countless family activities to enjoy. With certainty, I can truly say that making this change was - the right move for me, and my family!
Cheyanna, Bus Driver
I am a recent graduate of MTI's class 3 license instruction program. I chose to retrain and work with the school district after witnessing the need in the community for more bus drivers, and recognizing that my skills and disposition were well suited to this role.
Thanks to assistance from Columbia Basin Trust, I enrolled in the program and completed it successfully in November and have been happily driving students from SD20 ever since!
I am glad to be a part of the next generation of Kootenay students' education and grateful for the support I've received to begin my journey as a school bus driver.
Brad, Education Assistant
I love what I do. I used to spend my time in newspaper pressrooms. That was a job. I've never considered what I do now a job. I get to spend my time with really cool kids and staff and help them have a great day. I'm the first one to admit... I play all day. I try to bring fun into school. Bike rides, music, games, and, walk and talks. We spend a long time in school so I try to make it fun. I help students want to be at school. That's a big thing for parents. I get to make a difference and that is important to me. The day being an EA is a job is the ​
day I retire. I love what I do and you might too.