One of the most influential job titles a person can have in a community is a teacher – tasked with shaping the minds of future leaders and shakers - Ron Kenworthy has been a fixture of education in the valley for over a decade.
“Children is what motivates me. There were so many things that I enjoyed and felt I made a difference in,” he said, adding Greentree School was the place of fondest memories in his long career in the field. “I felt I really got along well with the kids there. The parents were appreciative and the staff as well. People recognized that together we were really making a difference.”
Born and raised in Rockyford, Kenworthy came to Drumheller often to see a show at the Napier and go across the street to the cafe to have a cherry coke.
Receiving his Bachelor of Education specializing in history and geography, and a Diploma in Education Administration from the University of Alberta, he came back to visit family but didn’t return to his roots.
He taught in Hussar and Strathmore before he felt maturity needed to be developed, and worked at the Bank of Commerce in Calgary and Edmonton as an audit officer and an accountant.
“Those things sure helped me with being a principal later.”
Going on to teach in Fort Vermillion with his wife Paddy for three years, Kenworthy moved to Lacombe to teach junior high when his wife was pregnant.
“Then I decided to come closer to my roots and accepted a position as principal of Greentree School (in 1997).”
“I had a great time at Greentree and I really enjoyed the ages of the students.”
He remained principal of the school until 2003. In 2001 he became a board member for the Hearthstone Children Family Service board, to assist kids who have been taken into custody of foster parents. He later became chair of the Central Alberta Child and Family Services, which covered from Drayton Valley to Drumheller. During that time he was substituting for teachers within the valley.
In 2008, he became a board member of Golden Hills School Board, and later became chair in 2009 until 2010.
“I felt the school board was not being given the authority for the responsibility they had. The board had no control over the finances, it was between a rock and a hard place.”
“But I felt it was a very excellent group of staff and students. I’ve always been proud of the students. It was more about the politics than the day-to-day operations.”
Kenworthy has also served on the Drumheller Municipal Library Board, Marigold Regional Library Board, local KidsSport board, and has been serving on the Canadian Badlands Artists Association board since 2004. His photography work has been on display around Alberta.
He still substitute teaches.
“I’ll probably keep subb-ing for a couple years yet, I still enjoy the kids. But I don’t want to become a doddering old fool the kids take advantage of,” he laughs.
“Drumheller is a wonderful place to be, I hope people are living with a world class view every time they drive to work. I really have enjoyed the people in this area.”