BRANDON, MB –– The dream of two Melita women has come true. Earlier this month, the Serruys sisters — Darci and Danielle —both graduated with education degrees from Brandon University (BU). They chose BU for a variety of reasons, including its proximity to their hometown.
“BU has some fabulous professors and great course selections. The Faculty of Education is full of amazing people and it prepares you for your own classroom one day!” said Darci, who is two years younger than Danielle.
While Danielle shared her sister’s feelings about their alma mater, she added a few comments.
“After completing my Education degree, I am so grateful for the small class sizes at BU, the relationships formed with professors and the lifelong friends I have made,” she said. “My field experiences were all very valuable and I learned from amazing teachers.”
Darci has had a bit of a head start in the “real world”, as she was hired this spring as a replacement in the Grade 3 and 4 class at the Waskada School. She will return there in the fall for a good portion of the school year.
“I am very lucky to be in such an amazing school. Waskada School is full of great staff and students,” said Darci. “It is probably the best feeling in the world. This is what I have been waiting for my entire life. Teaching is a very rewarding career and it holds a lot of responsibilities. It will take time and a lot of hard work to be the best that I can be as a teacher.”
Currently the Summer Services Coordinator for Children’s dis-ABILITY Services in Brandon, Danielle has also landed a position in her field of study. Like her sister, she will be teaching the Grade 3 and 4 class at Betty Gibson School in Brandon, where she had been an educational assistant during her studies at BU.
Though they are just embarking on their careers, both women had been nurturing the love of teaching for years: As children, they loved to “play school”.
“I have grown up wanting to be a teacher,” said Danielle. “I admired my early years teachers and wanted to be just like them.”
“I grew up around teaching and helping kids my entire life,” said Darci. “As little girls, my sister and I started out teaching our two little brothers, Kyle and Tanner.”
During their teen years, Danielle and Darci were very involved in their hometown’s recreation programs for kids. They both lifeguarded and instructed young swimmers. Danielle also taught piano, coached various sports, while Darci was a Can-Skate assistant with the Melita Figure Skating Club.
“They’re lovely, smart young ladies,” said Gloria Caldwell, the Antler River Recreation Director. “They’re very well thought of in their community. They’ve done a good job in their lifeguarding and running the pool. I’m sure they’ll do well in their careers. Both of them are very dedicated to their chosen career path and they’ll make excellent teachers.”
At Brandon University, Dr. Jacqueline Kirk taught both sisters during their education program.
“It was wonderful to work with them,” said Dr. Kirk. “They’re both really, really nice girls and both very professional about how they approached their studies. They really took responsibility for their learning, so I’m delighted that they have found work for the fall.”
Of spending time in the same program together, both Danielle and Darci have nothing but fond memories and are looking forward to pooling their resources as professionals.
“Being in the same classes as my sister was a good thing. It was nice to collaborate, to share ideas, to vent to each other and to learn from one another. I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” said Danielle.
“As my sister and I go our different paths, we will still connect to share ideas and stories,” said Darci. “It will be very different to not have her by my side. It is sad to think our education days at Brandon University are over, (but) Danielle and I are very fortunate to teach the same grades next year, so together we can plan an amazing school year!”