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Meet your new staff officers

September 25, 2018 ATA News Staff

In June 2018, Provincial Executive Council appointed four Alberta teachers to positions as executive staff officers with the Association. Chris Gonsalvez and Myra Rybotycki are two of them, and they assumed their new roles Aug. 1.

Chris Gonsalvez

Chris Gonsalvez brings to the Association a wealth of experience in planning and delivering professional development opportunities for Alberta teachers. Before joining the Association staff, he was a teacher and principal with Lethbridge Public Schools. He attended the University of Lethbridge, where he earned his B.Ed. and B.Sc. He also earned a master of science and information technology management degree at Aspen University.

In addition to being a lead teacher for technology and the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement, Gonzalvez also was a member of the Association’s Instructor Corp (a team of teachers who present workshops and seminars on topics requested by teachers). As one of the 700 plus Lethbridge teachers who form ATA Local 41, he represented local district administrators and served as a member of its Classroom Improvement Fund Committee.

Gonsalvez is an executive staff ­officer in the Professional Development­ program area.

5 more things about Chris

Describe your first student-­teaching experience in three words.

Eye-opening, exhausting, exciting

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself in your first year as a teacher?

  1. Have patience, the days are long and exhausting, but it does get easier.
  2. Keep a copy of every class picture and write student names on it. You will be trying to remember names of former students for the rest of your career.
  3. Get to know the support staff you work with (educational assistants, custodians and administrative support). Knowing their birthdays, favourite chocolate bar and how they take their coffee will be incredibly helpful.

If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?

An actuary

Chris’s favourite ...

book: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield.

thing about summer: spending time at the cabin with family, living on the water.


Myra Rybotycki

Myra Rybotycki joined the Association as a staff member after 20 years of teaching, 19 of which were with Parkland School Division. In addition to teaching, she served on the executive of the North Central Teachers’ Convention Association and, prior to taking on her new role at the Association, was head of the modern languages and fine arts department. Rybotycki earned her B.Ed. at the University of Alberta and is completing her M.Ed. at the University of Calgary.

Involvement in the Association for Rybotycki began in 1999, when she became a member of the Council of School Representatives for Parkland Local No. 10. She maintained that role throughout her teaching

career while serving the Parkland teachers in a variety of other positions with the local, including vice-president, member of the Economic Policy Committee (now Teacher Welfare Committee) and member of the Negotiating Sub Committee. She served on C2 and co-chaired the Classroom Improvement Fund committee.

Rybotycki is an executive staff officer in the Teacher Welfare program area.

5 more things about Myra

If you could travel back in time as the teacher you are today, what advice would you give your K–12 self?

I would give myself permission to be kinder to my first-year teaching self. I was so worried about doing everything right that I missed some of the enjoyment of teaching.

The best thing about teaching is …

the relationships you make in your school community!

What is the greatest life lesson teaching has taught you?

The greatest life lesson teaching taught me is that everyone is learning!

If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?

There is nothing I'd rather be.

What is your favourite place in the world?


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