Teaching: Home Economics teacher 15 Years, Vice Principal Secondary 20 years
Elementary School Principal 5 years - Total 41 years from 1955 –1995
RTAM Membership on following committees: Editorial, Membership, Bylaws and Policy, Manitoba Seniors Coalition for the past 5 years.
Chaired: Pension Committee, Educational Advocacy, Wellness for 20 years, and presently Student Awards for the past 7 years and Elections this year.
RTAM President for the years 2000 and 2019.
My commitment to RTAM is to provide to our members the opportunity to assist their young relatives in their pursuit of lifelong educational goals. As I reflect on the one thing in my long life that has been my support and that I value highly is my love of learning and being able to find ways in and through my life of pursuing that value. We as educators, active and retired, transmit our values by our actions more than our words. Actively supporting these young people who will be Canada’s leaders of the future will be our greatest legacy. The RTAM Endowment Fund that was established at the Winnipeg Foundation in 2013 now has doubled the initial amount of the awards offered to these deserving relatives. RTAM can add to the amount of that fund and the number of our relatives we can support. I will also continue to advocate and support our efforts not only to protect our pension but also to advocate for the health system we have maintained over the years. The pandemic has taught me not only the immediacy of the importance of my health but also that we are “in this life together and must work together towards our common goals of well-being.”
Linda Blair, Director
I grew up in a family of 6 siblings on a farm west of Portage la Prairie. My early education encompassed a one-room school with eight grades. Due to the large enrollment, I was moved to city schools for Grades 7 through 12.
For several years, I studied the piano and pipe organ. Serving as church organist as well as playing for weddings and funerals both used and developed my skills. Later, I would learn to play the trumpet in a local adult band.
Graduating from Brandon University and later the University of Manitoba, I have taught from Nursery School to Grade 9. Most of my career has centered on K-6 Music. After 31 years, I retired.
During my career, I have been involved in the Professional Development and the Collective Bargaining committees. My community involvement included several organizations such as 4-H, AWANA, St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog Program, Portage and District Music and Arts Festival. Recently I volunteered for the Winnipeg Summer Games 2017, serving in the Transportation section. Meeting and working alongside many interesting people has been a welcome bonus to my volunteering.
With my late husband, I have three children, two in-laws and five grandchildren. I enjoyed travelling with my husband and now enjoy travel adventures with my children and grandchildren.
Presently, I enjoy planning travel adventures and working out at the gym both with and without a trainer as well as serving on the RTAM Political Advocacy committee.
JoAnne Hoyak, Vice President
My experience as an educator includes positions as a K to 6 music specialist, a Grades 7, 8 and 9 ELA teacher and a Senior High teacher of English, Social Studies and Law. So, I am proud to say I have taught every grade, except Grade 11, in the Manitoba Public School System.
I also appreciated expanding my view of public education by serving three terms as a school trustee in Pine Creek School Division. It became clear to me that parents, trustees and teachers all have the same goal—to provide the best education possible for ALL the children in our care.
I subscribe to the notion that if one feels strongly about an issue, one should accept the responsibility of stepping up to take action to support and promote it. Therefore, I served on various MTS committees both locally and provincially.
Presently, I have grave concerns over the general abandonment of the defined benefit pension model, and so feel obligated to offer what I can to strive to maintain it. This year, Bill 64-- which “ignores the views of educators, promotes standardization and invites privatization”-- undermines public education and should be an issue for us all. As well, I believe an RTAM member should have a designated seat on TRAF and I have contributed towards that goal. Finally, I am pleased RTAM has expanded our strategic plan to include the wider community and allows us to support Long Term Care improvement, seniors’ issues and First Nations recognition.
I have sat as a Director on the RTAM Board for the last seven years. I have been a member and Chair of the Pension Committee, a member of the Political Advocacy committee and served as Vice President and ACER-CART representative in 2017- 2018 and 2019 to the present.
The goals we wish to attain and the work we need to accomplish can only be achieved through legislation that establishes RTAM as the recognized voice of retired teachers in Manitoba. This is what we are aiming for.
The overall effectiveness of our organization rests on the practices of cooperation, collaboration, consensus, and transparency between officers, the Board directors, our chapter presidents and the membership at large. I am confident we can achieve this working model and dedicate myself towards this end.