Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, who’ll pick up their awards as part of our 2018 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 5 and 6.
Each year, a maximum of four medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and/or community activities. This year’s winners are:
Taralynn Stephen always wanted a career where she could spend her day helping others. After graduating from RRC’s Primary Care Paramedicine program, that goal has now become a full-time reality.
Taralynn grew up in the community of Swan River and graduated from Swan Valley Regional Secondary in 1994.
“From a young age I was always interested in a career working in health care,” she says. “Once my children grew older I began working as an emergency medical responder and a firefighter in Swan River. A friend suggested I should further pursue my profession and enrol in RRC’s Primary Care Paramedicine program.”
The timing worked out well, as she was able to pursue the intensive 11-month program within her community, through RRC’s remote campus in Swan River.
“The program is very intense, so being able to work towards my diploma while remaining in my community with my family and support system was really important to me,” she says.
One of the things she values most about her educational journey at was the experienced teaching.
“It was a lot of hard work, but the experience feels very rewarding. I feel fortunate to have had a knowledgeable and dedicated instructor, and exposure to a lot of great hands-on training opportunities. The practical training helped ensure I was prepared to enter the workforce and excel in this next chapter of my career.”
Taralynn began working casually as an emergency medical responder for Prairie Mountain Health Region while completing her studies, and was hired on as a full-time primary care paramedic as soon as she graduated. She also works part-time as a firefighter for the Swan River Fire Department.
When she’s not at work, Taralynn finds balance by staying physically active and enjoys running and skiing. She enjoys spending time with her family and following her four children to their various activities and programs. She has a passion for animals and volunteers with the Swan Valley Animal Protection League, fostering countless animals in need of a safe home. She is also an active member of the local Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, an organization that searches for missing aircrafts and persons.
A graduate of the College’s Business/Technology Teacher Education After-Degree program, Theresa Armstrong brings passion and a breadth of experience to her new career as an educator.
Theresa received her Bachelor of Commerce (Hon.) from the University of Manitoba in 1998 and her CGA (now CPA) designation in 2005, allowing her to pursue a successful career as an accountant. However it was when she took on the role of sessional instructor at RRC’s Steinbach Campus that she discovered her love teaching.
“I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the small classroom setting and helping others learn,” she says. “That’s what influenced my decision to pursue Teacher Education at Red River College. It’s an intimate setting, which is how I see education — the social relationships are an important part of learning.”
The most valuable aspect of her time at RRC was the hands-on practical training, she says.
“To be able to go into classrooms with our instructors and watch how they teach, and then to be able to ourselves teach and receive feedback is fantastic. The instructors put a lot of energy into making it not just a theory-based program.”
Theresa is currently completing courses at the University of Winnipeg to obtain a joint degree, and hopes to teach at a secondary school or post-secondary institution in Winnipeg or the surrounding area. Her minor is in Math, which — paired with her business and technology experience — will make her highly adaptable as an employee.
“I feel more prepared to handle the demands of being a teacher,” she said. “I feel more aware of what realistically you can accomplish with your students and that I can adapt to the possibilities.”
In her personal life, Theresa is a strong supporter of community and can be found volunteering for the Celtic Ireland Pavilion at Folklorama, for the Christmas Cheer Board, and as a judge for Skills Manitoba and community events. She enjoys watching curling, playing boardgames and travelling with her husband and her 11-year-old daughter.