Serena Weipert is the new Town of Slave Lake FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) coordinator. She moved back to Slave Lake in December. Shortly after that, the pool manager went on maternity leave. Weipert agreed to cover the maternity leave alongside running FCSS.
“I have a passion for aquatics,” Weipert says. “We’re quite fortunate here (in Slave Lake). We have a good complement of staff.”
Weipert is working to find out what’s working well in the community, what gaps are there, and how these can be filled.
Weipert spent most of her previous time in Slave Lake with the younger generation teaching them swimming lessons. Her favourite part of being back is seeing the toddlers and kids she used to teach as teenagers and adults. Some are the same age as her own kids.
For example, one of the former pool staff Weipert mentored is now a registered nurse at the Slave Lake Hospital.
Weipert was born in Dawson Creek, BC, but grew up in Kamloops, BC. She did a Bachelor of Business at the University College of the Caribou in Kamloops. In the fall of 2000, she moved to Fort Nelson, BC to work at a mill and OSB plant. This is where she met her partner.
While in Fort Nelson, Weipert gave birth to their two daughters.
In 2006, the family moved to Slave Lake for the first time. Weipert’s partner was involved in the construction of the Tolko OSB plant near Slave Lake. She worked at the Northern Lights Aquatic Centre in Slave Lake from 2007 to 2011. For most of that time, she was the pool manager.
From 2012 to 2019, Weipert worked in High Level. She started out at the pool and became the director of community services. Weipert and her family remained connected with Slave Lake through swim club and other things.
Weipert’s partner and youngest daughter moved to Slave Lake in the summer. Their older daughter is studying at NAIT, in Edmonton. Weipert stayed longer in High Level because of the fire and its aftermath.
Her partner is a project manager with Tolko. He works at the High Prairie, Slave Lake, and Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan plants.
Slave Lake FCSS is funded by the Alberta government and the Town of Slave Lake. In Slave Lake, FCSS runs programs, partners with other groups, and gives grants to local organizations.
Weipert feels a moral and ethical responsibility for FCSS to offer programs that the community needs and wants. Her goal is that these be efficient, effective and safe.
Some upcoming FCSS programs are the free tax clinics at the Multi Rec Centre starting in March and the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on April 24 starting at 6 p.m. at the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre.
The deadline to nominate someone for Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Volunteer is March 6.