Working with children for more than 30 years, they each saw the difference opportunities to take part in reading programs, drama camps, or children’s festivals made in the development and lives of the children they taught.
It was with that in mind that Susan and Ronald turned to the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta to establish a fund to help more children have more opportunities to learn.
“Children are the future and we want children to have opportunities that allow then to know that education goes far beyond the 8:30 to 2:30 school day,” says Ron.
The Thomson/Boyce Family Fund will offer support to projects and programs such as children-focused festivals, drama camps, reading programs which help youth (15 years of age and under) develop academically, artistically, emotionally, and/or help improve their literacy.
Children have been a big part of the couple’s lives since they moved to the Peace Country from Nova Scotia. “In 1980 we began a “two year” journey to the Peace Country to teach, get some experience and return to… not certain. We fell in love with the Peace Country and the rest is, as they say, history,” says Susan.
The couple settled in, teaching at Ridgevalley School together for 23 years, raising two daughters during that time.
Ron spent the last six years of his teaching career in Hythe Junior High School, as they moved into Grande Prairie from Ridgevalley. Susan taught in Hythe for one year and went to Valhalla as the Principal in 2005. Susan remained at Valhalla through the school closure and reopening as the Valhalla Community Charter School. Ron and Susan retired from the public school system in June 2010.
Susan was an instructor at GPRC for two years after retiring and also an instructor for the University of Alberta for a semester. Susan continues to work as a University Facilitator for the U of A as she supports student teachers in their classroom practicum.
With four “very active” grandchildren who keep them busy, both Ron and Susan also continue to be very involved in the community. Susan continues to serve as a volunteer on several community groups, many of them in support of children – Heritage Fair for Grades 4 to 9, Destination Imagination for Grades K to 12 and beyond, Grande Prairie Children’s Festival – while Ron volunteers for activities such as Scotties Curling as a driver, Alberta Games as a driver, Children’s Festival as a venue supervisor.
“Education is very important to both of us, however, education includes many things beyond academics,” says Ron. “The extra-curricular is also an important part of going to school – team work, partnerships, lifelong friendships.”
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. When you make a donation to the Thomson|Boyce Family Fund, we invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund and the original gift is never spent. Earnings from your gift are distributed in our community to support projects and programs which help youth (fifteen years of age and under) develop academically, artistically, emotionally, and/or literacy improvement including but not limited to children focused festivals, drama camps, music camps and reading programs. Donations can be made online here https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/39486 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820.