by Phil Ambroziak

It was the kids who encouraged Cardell Musyj to sign on as the new vice-principal at Ernie Studer School in Loon Lake.

Musyj, who started teaching in 1991, came to ESS this fall after teaching and serving as principal at an online school in Alberta for the past 12 years.

“It was a sort of distance learning school – I was the principal and I taught mathematics,” Musyj explained. “But, I was looking to get back with the students. I enjoy the energy students bring to a school and to a classroom. With the online school I could see the students’ accomplishments through their work and through their marks, but there’s something much more special about looking into the students’ eyes and seeing the moment when they get it. That’s the greatest thing about teaching, getting to see that sparkle in their eyes when they understand what it is you are teaching them… I also like the idea of being in more of a supportive role on the administration side of things. As vice-principal I get to be just that.”

In addition to his role as vice-principal, Musyj has a full schedule of classes.

“I teach Grades 5, 6 and 9 mathematics, Grade 9 science and Grades 7 and 8 practical applied arts, or wood shop,” he said. “Throughout my teaching history I have primarily been known as a math teacher at both the elementary and high school levels, and I have also taught some sciences in the past, but practical applied arts is a new area for me. However, it is an area of interest for me because I have a passion for it. I can’t wait to get hands-on in the shop and am excited to work with the kids.”

Musyj was born in Ituna, SK but completed most of his schooling in Ontario before attending the University of Winnipeg. After receiving his teaching degree, Musyj, along with his wife, Angie, got his start teaching at a small Kindergarten to Grade 9 school in Uranium City. From there, he worked at Hillmond High School in the mid to late 1990s followed by eight years at Holy Rosary Catholic High School in Lloydminster. His wife still teaches Grade 1 in Lloyd, while Musyj lives at Ministikwan Lake.

“I have been lucky to have worked in so many diverse settings,” he added. “It’s also great being back in a small community and to be able to stay at a cabin, get up and go to work at a job I love.”

In terms of extracurricular activities, Musyj plans to become involved with the ESS curling team this winter, as well as the school’s recycling program and anywhere else his services are needed.

Musyj and his wife have two sons. Braden is a mechanical engineer who lives and works in Lloydminster, while Tanner is a graphic artist/web designer who also works in Lloyd.

“They’ve accomplished great things, but, me, well I just love the feeling of being back in a small, K-12 school,” Musyj said. “This is a great community, which makes for a very special place for both learning and working.”