Each year, Local associations pay homage to long-serving delegates and leaders at the MTS Provincial Council Annual General Meeting. This year, however, our traditions were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was moved online and the agenda condensed to permit focus on the essential business of the Society limiting discussion to voting on resolutions, the election of Provincial Executive members and approving the MTS budget.
However, we cannot allow the commitment of our retiring delegates to go unacknowledged. Their voices have been instrumental, for decades, in advancing the interests of public school teachers province-wide. Several Locals have shared their thoughts and appreciation for these individuals, and today we pay tribute to their unwavering dedication to our union and our calling, and thank them for their service.
Jim Partaker (Prairie Spirit)
Jim’s teaching career started in Kindersley, Saskatchewan in September 1982, where he spent six years teaching technical/vocational courses. He then moved back to Manitoba, accepting a teaching job in St. Claude, in 1988. There he was lucky enough to help with the design and planning of the new shop being built at the school, and for the next 32 years taught manufacturing and woodworking.
In his second role as the MTS rep for Mountain and Prairie Spirit Teachers’ Associations, Jim spent four years as treasurer of Mountain Teachers’ Association, and for the next 26 served as either the collective bargaining chair or president.
At MTS, Jim served on several provincial committees. These included the Collective Bargaining Standing Committee, the Review Committee, and the Indigenous Standing Committee. Jim served proudly on all these committees, however, he cites his work on the Indigenous Standing committee as the most rewarding of all. Jim is proud to have spent the most time in that endeavor, and helped implement many meaningful initiatives for the Society and teachers of this province. Jim was a dedicated AGM delegate whose commitment to education was evident in all he did. Best wishes, Jim, and thanks!
Libby Powell (River East Transcona)
Libby Powell has been a teacher in the Transcona Springfield School Division and the River East Transcona School divisions for over 30 years. She began her career at John W. Gunn School, went on to Polson School, Kildonan-East Collegiate, and finally École Salisbury Morse Place School. Throughout her career, she loved coaching basketball, leading student councils, animating new clubs and conversations and guiding so many unforgettable students.
Libby’s position with TSTA and RETTA provided her the opportunity to work FOR teachers. She was the teachers’ voice as she presided over RETTA during the amalgamation years of the River East Transcona School Division. Her unshakable stance and vision allowed teachers’ needs to be heard and respected. Libby is a very honest person. If you ask her a question, she will tell you what she thinks.
When asked what her legacy would be, the answer came from a conversation she overheard between two former students. One boy said, “That Powell is tough!” The other said, “Yeah, but she’s FAIR!” I believe Libby will be quite pleased to retire knowing that she was FAIR! She looks forward to many years of travelling, cooking, walking her dog Molly and relaxing at the cottage. But don’t worry, she won’t be far. Congratulations, Libby, and thank you for your service!
Bob Mauthe (Pembina Trails)
Bob began his teaching career 34 years ago in the White Horse Plain School Division in the town of Elie. It is there he became involved with MTS joining the local executive as a bargainer, then later as President of the Association.
Bob moved on to teach in Seven Oaks and finally landed in Pembina Trails. His dedication to teacher welfare, teacher safety, and teacher rights played a large part in his professional dedication and focus because of the value he placed on making conditions better for teachers. Bob’s dependable, honest, friendly, caring nature always came through when listening to teachers and assisting with their concerns or issues. His attention to detail and ability to collaborate and negotiate while thinking on his feet nothing but remarkable.
Bob’s quick wit and humour were always appreciated. We will definitely miss you. All the best and happy retirement!
Dave Najduch (Winnipeg)
Dave had a remarkable teaching career spanning 38 years. He spent his first three teaching in Birtle, Manitoba, and 35 in the Winnipeg School Division. Dave served as President of WTA for a total of 11 years over three separate terms.
Dave is a long-time AGM delegate well-known for his time at the microphone. It’s fair to say that sometimes other delegates didn’t agree with Dave’s position, but there was never any doubt that Dave’s advocacy was on behalf of teachers.
Dave has been a mentor to many WTA and MTS members as they served on committees, on WTA and MTS Executive, as a WTA Council rep, and as a Delegate to Provincial Council.
Thank you, Dave for your service and commitment to teachers. All the best in your retirement!