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Teacher ... Leader ... Superhero!

October 6, 2015
Teachers from all across the province are involved in the work of the Alberta Teachers' Association in various capacities. Such volunteer efforts by members are critical to the effective operation of the Association.

Katherine Pritchard

High school math, Palliser Beyond Borders (online learning through Palliser Regional Schools)

How long have you been teaching?

Eighteen years.

Why did you become a teacher?

When I first moved to Canada from England I managed a McDonald’s. During the breaks I helped the workers — mostly high school students — with their math homework. I realized I preferred this to restaurant work. Plus, as a teacher, I don’t smell of pickles.

Current ATA subgroup role

President, Palliser ATA Local No. 19.

What are your main responsibilities?

Communication to members about the work of the ATA, as well as listening to the concerns of my teachers and advising them how to get help.

What do you enjoy most about this work?

I love meeting teachers from across my division, especially our new teachers. Welcoming new teachers into the profession at induction ceremonies and celebrating at retirement ceremonies are special times.

What other roles have you held with the Association?

Local treasurer.

Why do you do this work? Why is it important?

Teaching can be a lonely profession, particularly in a small school where you are the only person teaching your grade or subject. By becoming involved with the local I was able to meet many more colleagues. This has helped me grow both personally and professionally.

How (or why) did you first become involved in Association work?

In my first year my colleague Arlene Purcell (who was also Economic Policy Committee chair) told me it was my professional responsibility to attend the annual general meeting. So I did. The following year she nominated me to be treasurer. I said yes. It was a great decision.

What is your favourite ...


Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

TV show?

Doctor Who.


Wham. I’m a child of the ‘80s!


Far Pavilions, by M.M. Kaye.

Summer vacation activity?

Swimming in a tropical sea followed by relaxing under a palm tree.

Travel destination?

Somewhere sunny.

Article of clothing?

Green cardigan.

What superpower would you most like to have and why?

Teleportation. My family is scattered around the globe.

What was your first car?

Austin Mini Mayfair.

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