Category: Farewells and Retirements

Retirement – Patrick Lewis

Happy Retirement to Dr. Patrick Lewis who retired at the end of June 2022. Dr. Lewis has served in the Faculty of Education in the Early childhood education since 2004. From 2009 to 2018, Dr. Lewis and Dr. Marc Spooner hosted the popular barroom talks, Talkin’ About Schools and Society, which brought in speakers such as Dr. Michael Apple, Dr. Angela Davis, Dr. Zeus Lenardo, and Dr. Patti Lather, to name a few.  He also served on multiple committees including the Education Advisory Circle (formerly known as Indigenous Advisory Circle). Lewis served in the role of Associate Dean of Human Resources Development from 2018 – 2021.  The Faculty celebrated with Patrick on June 23, 2022.

EIC honours member

Dr. Patrick Lewis, who has completed his term as Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Human Resources, and who has been a valued contributor in the Faculty’s Education Indigenous Circle (EIC), was honoured by the group on June 8, 2021. Elder Elma Poitras, Knowledge Keeper Joseph Naytowhow, and Chair Dr. Anna-Leah King presented Dr. Lewis with a blanket, along with songs, poems, and appreciative comments from those who attended.

Retirement – Larry Steeves

Prior to joining the Faculty of Education as an Assistant Professor in January 2007, Dr. Larry Steeves was a public servant for over 30 years in the K–12 education and government sectors. Steeves brought to his Faculty position a variety of experiences as a classroom teacher, coordinator of guidance services, principal and a director of education. As well, Steeves brought his experiences within the Saskatchewan provincial government, including time as Associate Deputy Minister in Government Relations and Aboriginal Affairs, Deputy Minister of Northern Affairs, and Associate Deputy Minister in Learning, including responsibilities as the Saskatchewan representative to the Board of Governors of the First Nations University of Canada.

Steeves says his most memorable experience in his 14 years within the Faculty was the work environment. “I greatly enjoyed my time as a colleague within our Faculty—what commenced as a 5-year commitment gradually extended as new opportunities arose.” As examples of the work environment, Steeves mentions Indigenous research, course development, and the creation of an online Educational Leadership program. The relationships Steeves has been “privileged to develop” are his “primary reason for remaining related to the Faculty,” says Steeves. He values all the relationships developed through the differing settings in his work career: “All provided great opportunities, challenges and relationships. But I have to say that the environment within our Faculty made it easy for me to stay. It was a wonderful place to work—and to make a contribution. I was blessed.”

As advice to Faculty colleagues, Steeves says, “I would only say that our work is important—supporting the development of future teachers and leaders within the K-12 sector is vital. We need to continue this work. As I leave my colleagues for retirement, I know that we face difficult times. I can only say that these challenges occur in any career—this one will be dealt with and will pass. It may leave changes, potentially even profound ones—but the work that we do remains. The work —and the need for it—will continue.”

Steeves is working towards the next phase of his life in a beautiful location: Victoria, B.C. He hopes to have more personal and family time, “but also to continue making a small contribution to our work.” He wishes colleagues the best in coming times.

Retirement celebration

On February 5, 2020 faculty and staff gathered to show their appreciation of Louise Laverdiere, who retired February 14, after 30 years of service to the University of Regina.

Louise has had varied responsibilities during her time at the U of R. She started out her career at the U of R in 1989, where she worked in Purchasing and Accounts Payable until 1997. From there she worked in Payroll for a month, and then moved to a permanent position in Supply Management where she worked doing purchasing, ordering and requisitions until July 2001. For the next nine years she worked in the Faculty of Engineering, where her portfolio included a broad assortment of responsibilities. In 2010, Louise joined the Faculty of Education where she has worked as an administrative assistant, first in the Education Graduate Studies office and then for the last nine years in the PD and Field Placement Office. For her retirement, Louise will be enjoying more time with her five grandchildren, her husband Jeff, and time at their place at Katepwa Lake.

Dr. Garth Pickard

Dr. Garth Pickard is Professor Emeritus at the University of Regina (Faculty of Education) and is currently a Research Scientist with the University of Regina Institute of Energy, Environment, and Sustainable Communities (IEESC). Garth is also directly affiliated with the UNESCO International Network for Re-orienting Teacher Education towards Sustainability and the United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development – Coordinator of Sustainable Infrastructure.

Dr. Pickard was the Director for the University of Regina, Office of International Cooperation and Development, the Associate Dean of Education (Program), and the Director of Professional Development in the Faculty of Education. He served as the Director of the Canada, China University Linkage Program, and the Special University Linkage Consolidation Program for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) from 1992 to 2005 and Director of the Centre for International Teacher Education from 1992 to 2000. Garth has lectured in the curriculum areas of Physical Education, Outdoor Education, Educational Administration, and Sustainability and has taught at Brock University, York University, and the University of Alberta.

Garth’s main research interests lie in sustainability as related to energy, environment and sustainable communities, re-orienting teacher education to address sustainability, organizational problem-solving, policy implementation, and personnel development.

Farewells and welcome

We bid farewell and best wishes to Blair Gullickson, who retired from the position of Manager of Student Placements and Field Experiences May 31, 2019.
We welcome Jill Young-Lee, who as accepted the 2-year term position of Manager of Student Placements and Field Experiences with the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. Young-Lee comes from Prairie Valley School Division and has many years of teaching and administrative experience. Young-Lee left her position as Principal of Montmarte School to join the Faculty of Education on August 6.
We bid farewell and best wishes to Dr. Joël Thibeault who resigned his position with the University of Regina July 31, 2019. Thibeault is headed to his new position at the University of Ottawa. Though he will be missed, we wish him success.
We bid farewell and best wishes to Dr. Cyril Kesten who retired his position as Professor of Business, Technology and Media education  July 31, 2019. Kesten began his well-deserved retirement after 41+ years of dedicated service to the Faculty of Education, University of Regina.

Farewell to Dr. Shauneen Pete

Dr. Shauneen Pete, Photo courtesy of Michael Dubois, Dub Photography

For the past academic year, Dr. Shauneen Pete has been on a leave of absence. Dr. Pete has now resigned her position with the Faculty of Education.

Dr. Andrea Sterzuk says, “Over the years, so many of us have had the very good fortune to work with and learn from Shauneen. Her influence will continue to be felt in the University for many years to come.” The Faculty considers Dr. Pete’s departure a great loss, but we wish her the best in all her current and future endeavors.


The Faculty extends farewell and best wishes to Dr. Jennifer Tupper (Dean) and Dr. Ken Montgomery (Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies), who will be moving on to new Dean positions at the University of Alberta and the University of Windsor, respectively.

Farewell and best wishes to Dr. Paul Hart and Dr. Marilyn Miller who are entering their retirements after many years of service to the University of Regina.


We wish them all the best as they embark on the next exciting chapter of their lives, and we express gratitude to each of them for their years of service to the Faculty: their research, scholarship, participation in collegial governance along with their commitment to teaching, and their work with students, all of which exemplifies the University motto “As one who serves.”

Former Dean Retirement Celebration

On December 7, the Faculty celebrated the career of former Dean Dr. James McNinch who retires at the end of December.

Dr. James McNinch began his 20-year career at the University of Regina in 1995, when he was hired to kick-start the Teaching Development Centre (TDC). In 1996, he was appointed Director of the TDC, with a cross-appointment in the Department of English and the Faculty of Education. In 2005, McNinch became a full-time faculty member with the Faculty of Education, where he taught core studies and adult education. He was the Director of the Field Placement Office, then Associate Dean, and then Dean for six years, stepping down in 2014 while remaining Director of the Saskatchewan Instructional Development and Research Unity (SIDRU) until his retirement in December 2016.

What was the highlight/memorable moment of your career here at the U of R?

There have been many memorable moments. As a teacher, I have many memories of students working hard and being grateful for the feed-back I gave them. This is particularly true of the first 10 years when I regularly taught English 100. Helping students improve their reading, writing, and comprehension, and to expand their world view was extremely rewarding. As a writer and editor, I found great satisfaction in working closely with 3 colleagues, Mary Cronin, Carol Schick, and Marc Spooner as the co-editor of 3 collections of articles and in seeing the impact these books had on subsequent teaching and scholarship. As a university administrator, I was told many times over the years that people admired me for being straight-forward, standing up for what I believed, and supporting faculty, staff, and students as best I could.

What significance does the work we do at the U of R, Faculty of Education have, in your estimation?

Teacher education, including preservice, in-service, and graduate work is critical pedagogical work because we are critiquing, influencing, and shaping the kind of society we live in. It means encouraging teachers to help students to become engaged citizens able to advocate for themselves and for others and to strive for a civil, just society where everyone is treated with the respect and dignity we all deserve. I know it sounds like a cliché, but trying to make the world a better place is a big job that never ends. I have seen tremendous advances in Indigenous education in this province and I know this Faculty will continue to be a leader in that regard.

What are your retirement plans?

Now that I am retired, I feel as if I am as engaged as ever but on my own terms. No more alarm clocks sounding angry at 6:00 in the morning during the dark days of January! I am currently writing a chapter about social justice and gender and sexual minorities for a text-book used in Human Justice courses. I am still directing Camp fYrefly and fYrefly in Schools as community-based projects that make a difference in people’s lives. We just hired a new co-ordinator to be based in Saskatoon so we have increased capacity to meet demand. This week I was working with a school division and the STF to make plans for a teacher who is transitioning from female to male and sorting out the implications this will have for students, staff and the community. If someone had told me at the beginning of my career 40 years ago that I would be involved in such work I would not have believed them. I have a new three week old grand-daughter. It takes my breath away to see how helpless and vulnerable she is and how much she is loved and cared for. And it is spring, so time to transplant the tomato seedlings that I germinated.

Do you have any words of advice/wisdom to offer the faculty/staff or field of education?

My Dad, with whom I had a conflicted relationship, did always say “Don’t be afraid to ask or propose something if you believe in it. The worst someone can say is NO and you can try again.”

I am not very good with my hands but “righty tighty and left is loosey” has been helpful over the years. Trans performance artist and writer, Ivan Coyote, quotes Dolly Parton saying “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” In hindsight I think I have lived like that.

To see the photos, slide your cursor over the photo and click on the arrow.
James McNinch Retirement Celebration 2016