This month’s Co-op Community Champion has been a familiar face within School District 60 for 30 years.

Co-op highlights people in Fort St. John who should be recognized for the work they do in the community. Anyone looking to nominate a community-minded person in need of recognition, head to Energeticcity’s website.

This month’s Champion is Dr. Kearney Middle School Administrative Assistant Barb Chaput.

Barb along with her husband and two kids moved from Ontario in 1979, expecting to stay for a year.

Barb reached her 30th anniversary with the district the day she was interviewed for the Community Champion profile on April 23rd.

“I just noticed it on the wall when I came in and I didn’t even know. It’s funny how it all comes together,” says Barb.

She started her life in Fort St. John as an education assistant helping children with special needs at North Peace Secondary School, Robert Ogilvie Elementary School, and Dr. Kearney before applying for the administration position in 1995.

For 26 years, Barb is one of the first people students see in the morning, and for the brand new Grade 7 students, she makes a point of being the first to greet them at their new school.

“Our mascot is a cougar. I got these chocolate moulds, and they’re cougar paw prints. So I make them all suckers,  250 suckers. So on the first day, I put them all in bags and give them to the teacher as sort of a welcome gift.”

Barb also organizes the annual pyjama drive to support the Women’s Resource Society, which gets doled out to families in need. The simple donation has turned into friendly competition amongst the classrooms every year.

“Your class gets the most, and you’ll get dilly bars or something. We’re putting up the big guns now.”

The reason Barb loves to show up to work every day is quite simple: “It’s the Kids”.

“Some of them found out I collect elephants because I have a bunch here.  I just got a new one from somebody. Anyway, I just like to make them feel welcome when they come in because a lot of them are brand new. There are 650 kids here.”

Another highlight for Barb is seeing parents that went to Dr. Kearney bringing in their children.

“It’s neat to see and the first thing they say is oh, you’re still here.”

From everyone here at Energeticcity, thanks for being awesome Barb!

To nominate a Community Champion, head to Energeticcity’s website.