Jan 15, 2016
Posted in: Uncategorized
By Michael Relland
At the end of December, 2015, Sandy Sherwin-Shields will be entering a new phase in her life as she retires from her position as faculty with the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) in Prince Albert. Sandy has had a tremendous career as an educator; first as a primary school teacher in Northern and First Nations schools, and later as a faculty member at SUNTEP Prince Albert Centre working with Métis and First Nations students.
Sandy first started working as a sessional lecturer at SUNTEP in 1982, which makes her the longest serving member of the SUNTEP Prince Albert family. In 1985 Sandy became a full-time faculty member at SUNTEP where she has remained for the past 30 years. During this time Sandy has taught a multitude of classes, such as Math 101, Math 99, Communications 99, EdCur 301.6 and EdFtd 435.3.
In addition to teaching a variety of courses over the years, Sandy has played a pivotal role in the evolution and development of the SUNTEP Program. Over the years, she has played a lead role in numerous Centre initiatives such as coordinating SUNTEP’s field placements, developing the SUNTEP Internship Manual, and being the SUNTEP Prince Albert representative on University of Saskatchewan committees such as the Undergraduate Program Committee.
For many years, Sandy has been renowned for being the lead organizer for SUNTEP Prince Albert graduations and for the accompanying slide show that honoured our SUNTEP graduates. In short, Sandy Sherwin-Shields’s professional life has been exemplary and her commitment to the program and her students has been stellar. SUNTEP and Gabriel Dumont Institute have been blessed by Sandy’s presence. She approaches her work in a “good way” and treats people with compassion and respect. She has been a positive contributor to the Centre, a great team member, and her high standards in everything she does has helped develop the credibility and goodwill that SUNTEP holds in the community.
Member of faculty of the SUNTEP Prince Albert who have worked with Sandy had many positive things to say about her. Linda Lysyk noted, “The early days of SUNTEP were intent on transforming education. As a progressive educator Sandy has been instrumental in achieving this goal.” Corey Teeter said that “It is very difficult to put into words what Sandy Sherwin-Shields means to the SUNTEP Program in Prince Albert. Sandy has always put her heart and spirit into all she does. Her contributions have formed a footprint into the foundation of this program. Sandy’s dedication and work will be missed, but it will have an everlasting impact on the SUNTEP family.”
Bente Huntley stated that, “From the bottom of my heart Sandy, I wish to thank you for the amazing journey you and I embarked on when I started at SUNTEP. You have been an inspiration to many staff members and countless students. Your passion for the program and your compassion for your peers and your students will be greatly missed. But, the new journey you embark on will be an exciting and rewarding one also. No matter what you do, you will touch the lives of those, like me, who were fortunate to cross your path.”
Sandy’s students also commented on how she has impacted their lives. One such student, Veronica Carr, stated that, “Sandy has been an indispensable part of my SUNTEP journey. Her retirement is well deserved and she will be dearly missed.”
SUNTEP and GDI wish Sandy the best in retirement and we would like to acknowledge her significant contributions to Métis Education and her role in working for the betterment of the Métis and First Nations communities. We hope that Sandy enjoys her plans to travel, spend time with her grandchildren and pursue her interests in home decorating. We are also thankful that she is open to the possibility of continuing working with supervising SUNTEP interns. Thank you Sandy! It has been an amazing pleasure and an honour to work with you!