We caught up with Sheila Sanoski at the elementary school where she works as an Education Assistant in the kindergarten class supporting a young boy with special needs, as well as working with other students in the class, like Hazel.
Sheila is one of the first graduates of our Education Assistant Certificate, which launched in the fall of 2012. She completed the certificate last June and quickly was able to secure a position with the school district in her home town.
Sheila had been working in educational institutions for 10 years in an administrative capacity. She was acclimated to the academic year and found it a good fit for her family. She has two children who attend the same school and has been an active volunteer in their classrooms.
“I was always inspired by the school staff,” Sheila says. “I saw the difference they made in children’s lives. I was happy to be able to enrol in a program that fit with my family’s schedule and still allowed me to do what I love – working with children.”
Sheila found the practicum portion of the Education Assistant Certificate to be invaluable. “Being in the classroom was essential in preparing to be an Education Assistant. And I was able to include the teachers’ evaluations in my portfolio.”
Sheila is a strong believer in providing effective support to special needs children so they can be included in regular classrooms. She comes down firmly on the side of integration in the debate about inclusion.
“In the concept of universal design, you take everyone’s needs into account,” she says. “Classrooms are enriched by diversity, by meeting every child’s needs, including those with high needs: not just children with autism but those with behavioural issues and physical disabilities as well.”
Watch more of Sheila’s story.
– by Karen McCarthy
Two teams of Continuing Education employees took part in SHAPE Alberta’s Winter Walk Day on February 5. Teams registered to walk a minimum of 15 minutes. The temperature that day was -20 degrees C with a wind chill of -30.
SHAPE Alberta is an organization that encourages Albertans to choose safe, healthy and active modes of transportation on a regular basis. This choice promotes health, benefits the environment and reduces traffic congestion. The nonprofit organization promotes Safe and Healthy Routes to School throughout the province.
Due to the extreme cold, the activity could be completed indoors. Continuing Education registered two teams. The indoor team completed a 50-minute walk on MRU’s indoor running track. The intrepid outdoor team walked the periphery of the campus in a 25-minute walk.
Over 140,000 Albertans took part in the 2014 Winter Walk Day event. Congratulations to our cool colleagues – in more ways than one.
– by Karen McCarthy
When most people think Calgary, they think oil and gas. But Calgary is growing and diversifying in many different industries.
Fryderyk Peret made the leap from the oil patch to the green building industry when he took Mount Royal’s Building Green with LEED: New Construction Rating System exam preparation course in 2012.
Fryderyk now works as an Analyst, Buildings – Sustainability for MMM Group, a pioneering Canadian engineering consulting firm specializing in green building and transportation projects.
He works with architects and designers to achieve energy conservation at every stage of a new building’s construction and life cycle. He builds computer models of various configurations and makes recommendations based on cost as well as potential energy savings.
Fryderyk works with construction drawings and does energy modelling of every single lighting fixture, HVAC boilers and chillers, and materials for walls and windows. “A lot of energy is lost through the framing system in windows and walls. A wall filled with R-20 insulation may have an actual R-value that’s significantly lower,” he says.
Fryderyk’s model is then compared to a reference building: a standard building that doesn’t include any energy efficiencies.
On a daily basis, Fryderyk reviews clients’ building plans from the ground up to ensure that they meet requirements to achieve LEED certification for new construction. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the international standard for green buildings in 132 countries around the world.
Buildings generate up to 35 percent of greenhouse gases and contribute up to 35 percent of landfill waste through construction and demolition.
Fryderyk, originally from Edmonton, earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Alberta in 2009. “It was the worst possible time to graduate ever,” he says. “I looked for work for a year, took a position in Red Deer as a field engineer in the oilfield service industry and then transferred to Calgary to design the equipment. After three years I decided it wasn’t for me.”
Fryderyk always had an interest in green energy. He had interned at the Technical University of Munich in Germany helping a master’s student construct and analyze a solar collector containing phase-change materials after completing his engineering degree at U of A.
Fryderyk enrolled with us in spring 2012. The 36-hour course prepared him to write the Green Associate exam, and a letter from instructor Adam Stoker helped with the experience requirement for the certification.
“The Mount Royal course really provided me with everything that I needed in order to pass the exam,” he says. “Overall it was interesting and well taught. There was a lot of information that I didn’t have any idea about.”
In his spare time, Fryderyk enjoys tennis and snowboarding. “I like nerding out with renewable energy projects,” he says. “I helped my buddy build a solar collector recently.”
As green energy grows in importance in Alberta, careers like Fryderyk’s will become more widespread. Congratulations to Fryderyk on LEEDing the way!