Paying Tribute to College’s Heart and Soul

An Evening of Celebration on the Castlegar Campus


Selkirk College celebrated an incredible 887 years of service on Thursday night on the Castlegar Campus at the annual Employee Recognition Dinner.

The event brought together a room full of current employees, retiring employees, retirees, board members and distinguished community leaders for an evening of dinner and entertaining speeches at the Faculty Lounge.

Recognition - NISOD

This year’s NISOD (National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence Awards winners were recognized on the evening. They included (L-R): Mike Konkin, Rita Williams, Elizabeth Lund and Joan Silvey who posed for this photo with Selkirk College President Angus Graeme.

“It’s hard on the heart when you see people you grew up with at the college moving on,” Selkirk College President Angus Graeme said during his opening speech. “But on this evening it’s great to be part of this extended family and tell stories about that family.”

A List of Incredible Accomplishments

A total of 17 retiring employees were recognized on the evening with current staff members taking the podium to pay tribute to their years of service. The group included (with years of service): Barb Simmons (33), John Armstrong (33), Marg Poohachoff (33), Elizabeth Popoff (32), Bonnie Piderman (28), Lenka Lalonde (27), Philomena Archambault (27), Luba Kalmakov (26), Pam Mosby (25), Laurie Read (25), Bonnie Horswill (24), Rita Williams (21), Joyce Buckler (20), Rosemary Enefer (18), Anni Holtby (15), Brenda Nelson (13) and Per Joesen (12).

The speakers passed on kind words like “good nature,” “made our jobs easier,” “willing to do any work,” “goes the extra mile,” “energetic presence,” “bossy, but in a good way,” “inspiring,” and “keeps college’s interests at the top.”

English Language Program and Selkirk International pioneer John Armstrong was honoured by current Selkirk International department head Shana Rablah who said the retiring instructor “spread the spirit of Selkirk” through his three decades at the college.

Recognition - Armstrong

John Armstrong (middle) was honoured for his 33 years at Selkirk College. He is pictured with President Angus Graeme and Selkirk International department head Shana Rablah.

“John is the department and has been the vision of the department for many years,” Rablah said. “His legacy of what he leaves behind is what we will do in the future.”

Armstrong added his words to the evening by saying: “It’s been a wonderful adventure and journey.”

Like Armstrong, retiring administrative assistant Pam Mosby spoke briefly about what it means to have spent 25 years at the college with words that reflected the tone of the evening.

“I loved every minute of working here… I love Selkirk College,” she said.

‘It Was a Blast’

One of the most touching moments of the evening was reserved for retiring instructional assistant Rosemary Enefer. Adult Basic Education School Chair Allison Alder introduced the 73-year-old by telling Enefer’s story of courage and determination. After raising four children, Enefer returned to Selkirk College to take high school upgrading in an attempt to start a new career.

Recognition - Enefer

Instructional assistant Rosemary Enefer (middle) delivered one of the most memorable moments of the evening. She is pictured with President Angus Graeme and School Chair Allison Alder.

Enefer ended up working on the Selkirk College Trail Campus for 18 years where she was the instructional assistant for the Food Service Worker Program that teaches life skills for developmentally challenged adults. Alder described Enefer as an individual whose “dedication went beyond duty.”

Enefer then delivered a powerful speech at the podium.

“I have had the most incredible journey and I am being thanked for that tonight… no, it is I who want to give thanks,” Enefer said. “I got to witness moments of magic. I loved them [the students] and the memories I have are very precious. Tonight I want to thank Selkirk College for the most wonderful, incredible journey… it was a blast.”

Years of Service Recognized

Long Service Recognition Pins were also handed out on the evening to a long list of employees who continue to make a difference at the college.

  • 20 Years of Service: Joyce Buckler, Trish Foy, David Fraser, Larry McHenry, Eric Moon, Caroline Soukoroff and Esther Storvold.
  • 25 Years of Service: Paul Landsberg, Kasandra Mackelir, Bernadette McMullin, Pam Mosby, Steven Parish, Debra Scheidel, Monica Volger and Kerry Young.
  • 30 Years of Service: Allen Chernenkoff.
  • 35 Years of Service: Stefanie Zaytsoff.

Recognition - Zaytsoff

Stefanie Zaytsoff (left) was given her 35-year Long Service Recognition Pin on Thursday night.

This year’s NISOD (National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence Awards winners were also recognized on the evening. They included: Mike Konkin, Elizabeth Lund, Rob Schwarzer, Joan Silvey and Rita Williams.


See more photos from the evening at the Selkirk College Facebook page.