“Just think, I can do all this, and get paid for it too!”
(Ruth Tempel remarking on working outdoors with school children)
Ruth Tempel (Melanson Award Winner, 1981)
Ruth came to Saskatchewan from Pennsylvania in the early 1950’s as an exchange teacher for one year. Her stay became permanent when she married Herb Tempel.
Ruth taught for several years in the Regina Public School system gaining classroom experience at every elementary grade level. She then worked as a tour guide at the Museum of Natural History, and in 1965 was appointed a consultant in Outdoor Education for the Regina Board of Education, a position she held until 1976. This provided her with opportunities to bring together in a wonderfully integrated way, her three great loves – children, the outdoors and education. During these years she developed original studies for all sorts of teachers and pupils to use in the outdoors. These resource materials also provided a medium and an outlet for her creative and artistic talents in the form of illustrations to complement her writing. Besides laying the basis for many of the program activities in the schools in Regina, her work was very evident in the Department of Education publication, “Prairie to Pine”.
The educational experiences of thousands of children and teachers were richer because of Ruth’s talents, her interests and her dedication. And through these materials and the personal impact she had on so many teachers, her influence and contribution will continue on. For her it was a “labor of love.”
Thoughout her retirement, Ruth continued working at the Museum and with school classes and teachers. In her personal life, she brought together many things – her family, her summer cottage at the lake, her creativity, her bird-watching, and her deep love for the outdoor environments of Southern Saskatchewan.
Ruth was a true teacher – one who learned, grew and shared as she taught.
Ruth Tempel Melanson Award Citation, SOEEA, 1981