Board Bios

John Sushelnitsky
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

Boissevain is my hometown and I attended Brandon College. As president of the debating society and the international relations club, I gained an appreciation for the art of effective communication. In my third year I went to West Africa as part of a group called Crossroads Africa. Our role there was to complete the construction of a boys' dormitory in the town of Bo, Sierra Leone. Based on that positive experience, I went to East Africa with Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) following my graduation in 1964 and worked for two years as teacher in Bukoba, Tanzania.

On my return, I was contacted by Boissevain school officials who needed a teacher. Then, I took a year at the U. of Man. Education Faculty to get my formal qualifications. After practice teaching in Winnipeg, I drove out to interview for a job in Portage la Prairie. I loved the size of the town, bigger than Boissevain, smaller than Winnipeg.

Joining the Manitoba Teachers' Society, I served at the local and provincial level for my 37 years of teaching. I was on the MTS provincial executive for four years.  Afterward, as a MTS representative, I served on the Minister of Education's Advisory Board for four years. After retirement in 2003, the Society gave me the honour of becoming a Honorary Life Member in 2004.

A high school aptitude test encouraged me to continue studying the French language and I have used it throughout my career, being editor of the French Journal for ten years for the Manitoba Association of French Teachers and also serving as its president.

I also served on several Department of Education committees and was the co-author of its French correspondence courses. In the classroom, I taught 29 years of junior high, eight years of high school and two years of elementary. In addition to teaching Basic and Immersion French, I coached basketball and other sports. In my five years of coaching grade ten boys basketball we had the good fortune to be ranked number one on two occasions. All in all, a very satisfying career!

I have now served on the RTAM Board for twelve years as a Director and have chaired the Public Relations, Membership/Chapter and Political Action committees.


Retirement is a time of transitions. Throughout your career you belonged to the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS), but upon retirement you are no longer a member. The Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) exists to serve retired teachers. We invite you to join the growing number of RTAM members and enjoy the benefits of belonging.

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