June was farewell month for Sharon Green, retiring executive director of Slave Lake Child Care Society. The festivities started on June 5, when the staff surprised her with a ‘Christmas’ banquet. Christmas is Green’s favourite time of year.
There were a few other dinners during the month. During the last week, there was some goodies or farewell events every day.
Green described her last day, Friday June 28, as lots of hugs and tears, as the children said goodbye.
The Crazy Daisies, ages four and five, couldn’t wait to give her the blanket they made her. In secret, they traced their hands on a sparkly white blanket next to their names.
Green was very touched.
Green moved to Slave Lake in 1967, when she married.
As of May, Green had worked for Slave Lake Child Care Society for 40 years. When she started in 1979, she worked in a day-home and with some children with special needs.
Green’s been executive director for around 25 years.
During Green’s time, the society changed from linked day-homes to a daycare and three years ago from the old location by the MRC to Legacy Childcare in the Legacy Centre.
After the move, Legacy Childcare grew from 60 to 187 kids.
The daycare provides care for infants to 12-years-olds. It is a $25 a day daycare and seeking to incorporate Cree language learning.
Behind the front desk there are signs with ‘welcome’ in the cultural language of the kids who attend the daycare. Languages range from Cree to Japanese.
“It’s like a little league of nations,” Green says.
Working in daycare, Green says she has learned lots of things.
The biggest one is that “no two children are alike, for sure,” she says. “Every child needs to be handled differently.”
“It’s been a very rewarding career,” Green says. “There have been more highs than lows. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredible people. Looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
Over the summer, Green says she plans “to watch my grass grow.”
It’s been a long time since she’s had a whole summer to enjoy her yard.
In the fall, she hopes to travel around Alberta to visit her kids, grand-kids, and great-grand-kids.
“It’s been a good forty years,” Green says. “I’m excited for whoever takes over.”