Rebecca Gray

What Education have you Taken?

I graduated from Erickson Collegiate in 1989, and went on to the University of Manitoba, where I graduated with my Bachelor of Social Work in 1993.  In 2012, I began working on my Master of Education at Brandon University.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

The accomplishment I am most proud of is receiving my certification to be a Restitution Trainer in 2009.  Learning about Restitution changed the way I think about the way people behave, and my responses to difficult situations.  It not only made me more effective in my work, but affected all the relationships in my life.  I love to introduce these concepts to other people, and see the excitement it generates when people gain more control in their lives.

Another organization that is near and dear to me is CASSWAC – the Canadian Association of School Social Workers and Attendance Counsellors.  I am proud that I was able to serve as President of that organization from 2010- 2013.

Tell me about yourself/your background/ your history

After graduating from university, I worked in a treatment foster care program with MacDonald Youth Services in Winnipeg, Manitoba both as a social worker and as a respite worker for level 4 and 5 foster children.  I met my husband there, who was a foster parent in the program, and together we fostered for the next 10 years.

I also worked for Child and Family Services of Western Manitoba, both in their foster care program, and later, as a Shared Services Worker.  The Shared Services Program was a cooperative endeavor funded jointly by child welfare and education, providing social work services to children in school and child welfare services to the community.  Since 2000, I have worked for Rolling River School Division as a Behaviour Specialist, providing support and training to teachers and parents to assist them in dealing effectively with children’s behaviour.

I currently live with my husband and two biological children on a farm in Erickson, Manitoba.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I fell in love with the world of education when I was transferred to the Shared Services position with Child and Family Services.  I never envisioned I would work in Education, but it has become my passion.  At the beginning of my career in Education, I provided the typical kinds of direct services to students that traditionally social workers provide.  However, I quickly came to realize that in the vast majority of cases, the best outcomes for students were achieved not by my working directly with a student or family, but by assisting the school team in understanding and responding effectively as a coordinated team.  This lead me to explore more about leadership, motivation, and team development, and ultimately, to my current field of study in Educational Administration.

What is your philosophy in life?

I believe that we are all just people doing the best we can to live the life we want.  Sometimes we haven’t figured out the most effective ways to achieve this goal, but when we understand that people are not bad or evil, but instead are struggling to find their way, it takes away the blame and anger we sometimes feel towards others.  This allows us to approach problems in a more effective way, and to find more peace within ourselves.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I have learned to not become too tied to any particular vision of the future.  Life has a way of throwing curves at you, and I’ve become quite content to see where the ride takes me!

Nominator’s Comments                      

Rebecca Gray is a student in the Masters of Education program specializing in Educational Administration. Currently, she works as a guidance counselor in Rolling River School Division.  Rebecca invests enough time to get the most out of every assignment.  She pays attention to detail.  Her written work is precise, engaging, and thought provoking.  In the fall of 2013 she started a blog as part of a class assignment and it became a medium for her to share her expertise with her colleagues working in the field.  Although the class is completed, Rebecca’s Restitution Resource is updated regularly and now has a readership of approximately 70. The blog covers a variety of topics in Education and persuades readers to think deeper, to look for solutions and to keep children at the centre. Rebecca Gray is a woman, a professional, and a student, who is making a difference and I believe her contribution is worthy of recognition.