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Former ATA table officers to receive honorary memberships

May 14, 2019 ATA News Staff

Frank Bruseker and Alexandra Jurisic will both receive the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s most distinguished award of honorary membership at this year’s Annual Representative Assembly in Edmonton.

Honorary membership is reserved for individuals who have given meritorious service to the teaching profession or to the advancement of education.

Frank Bruseker

Frank Bruseker’s dedication to teachers, the teaching profession and public education are well known. In 1979, he began a teaching career with the Calgary Board of Education, which was occasionally disrupted by successful forays into politics. He taught for 10 years before winning the race for MLA for Calgary North West with an education-

focused platform. From 1989 to 1997, Bruseker was known as a “relentless and ferocious critic” in the Alberta legislature and a “major thorn in the side” of then premier Ralph Klein.

After his run as an MLA, Bruseker returned to teaching and got involved in Association politics. He was elected to Provincial Executive Council, serving as Calgary City district representative for two terms (1999–2003) and ATA president for three terms (2003–2009). Bruseker was credited with securing the five-year deal that saw a permanent solution to the long-standing issue of the $2.1 billion unfunded liability of the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund.

Bruseker was elected as vice-president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, a responsibility he held from 2008 to 2012 in addition to his role of past president of the ATA, a position he held from 2009 to 2013.

In 2013, Bruseker was elected president of the Calgary Public Teachers Local No. 38, a post he held for the four years before he retired.

He is known as a staunch advocate for public education, a defender of teachers’ rights and a true guardian of the profession.

Alexandra Jurisic

Alexandra Jurisic began teaching with the Calgary

Catholic School Division in 1991,

after nine years with the Calgary Board of Education. She left her indelible mark on not only her students, but her school, local and the Association.

Jurisic served as president of Calgary Catholic Local No. 55 for 11 years (2001–2007 and 2013–2017). She was elected to Provincial Executive Council (PEC) in 2007 and served one term as ATA vice-president. For that term, she was a member of the team that resolved the long-standing unfunded liability issue with the teachers’ pension.

Throughout her teaching career, Jurisic was an outspoken and exceptionally dedicated

member of the Association. She was involved with numerous provincial committees and councils: the Council for School Leadership, the Second Languages and Intercultural Council, and the Committee on Superintendents, to name a few. She was a fixture at the Annual Representatives Assembly and an active participant at the Banff Summer Conference.

Jurisic died in March of 2018. She was a diligent advocate for all students, especially the most vulnerable. Her colleagues describe her as someone who consistently acted with grace, composure, compassion and integrity.

The presentation of honorary membership to Alexandra Jurisic and Frank Bruseker will take place during the morning session of ARA on Saturday, May 18th. ❚

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