Jack Ady's favourite teachers

Barbara Grinder

Jack AdyJack Ady is a farmer, businessman and ­former member of the legislative assembly (MLA) for Cardston-Taber-Warner (1986–97). He held the post of minister of advanced education, technology and career ­development for five years. Ady has also been chair of the board of governors for Mount Royal College and chair of the Chinook Health Board. Recently, he was appointed a member of the interim board of the new Alberta Health ­Services Board.

Wilma Tyler Campbell was the first schoolteacher Jack Ady ever had, but she remains one of the most memorable. “I grew up on a small mixed farm near Cardston,” Ady recalls, “and for my first two grades I attended a little two-room school, Grades 1 through 12, at a farming community that was then called Taylorville. Wilma Tyler (she later married and became a Campbell) taught Grades 1 through 8 in one room of our little school, and somehow she managed to teach us all very well.”

Ady says Campbell first taught him to read and write. “Today, lots of kids enter school having some reading skills, but back then, that wasn’t the case. Miss Tyler was amazing. She’d be teaching Grade 1 students how to read in one corner and Grade 8 social studies in another, and we all learned our lessons very well. She brought everyone along and had everything under control, despite all the differences in grade levels and learning abilities.”

By the time Ady was ready for Grade 3, his little school, which was also the centre of religious, cultural and social activities in the community, had closed and all the children in the area were bussed to the Jefferson Consolidated School in Owendale, also east of Cardston.

“Miss Bario was my first teacher at the new school, and she was just as wonderful as Miss Tyler had been,” Ady says. “She took an interest in every child and did an excellent job of teaching the curriculum, but she also taught us all sorts of extra things she thought we needed to know—hygiene and good health habits, for example. Somehow she instilled an interest and enjoyment in learning in all her students and spurred them on to greater achievement and to moving forward. She stimulated her students and made us all want to learn, so we could educate ourselves throughout our lives.”

Also in the Learning Team