Heather Raymond, ’82 BEd, ’86 Dip(Ed), ’95 MEd, ’02 PhD
Dressed in a one-of-a-kind U of A sweater that she knit herself, Heather Raymond literally wears her Green and Gold pride on her sleeve. A four-time graduate of the University of Alberta, Raymond’s passion for her alma mater is so strong that she gave up the free time she gained in retirement to volunteer as the new Alumni Association president. Raymond will take over from Ayaz Bhanji on June 1, 2019.
An educator at heart and by profession, Raymond spent 34 years working in Edmonton public schools where she taught special education, kindergarten, grades 1 to 3 and junior high. She worked for 10 years in the inner city, first as assistant principal at McCauley School and then as the principal of Norwood School.
Her experiences as a teacher and administrator have led Raymond to become a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion in education.
“Education is how we prepare people to enter society but we can’t prepare them if they don’t feel welcome. Uplifting the whole people, as Henry Marshall Tory put it, depends on the U of A being a living part of the community that embraces every member,” she says. “It’s important that we stand beside people from marginalized communities and help them feel welcome and included at this university.”
Throughout her life Raymond has been active in her community. Among the many organizations with whom she’s volunteered are the Centre for Family Literacy, the U of A Phi Delta Kappa chapter and the United Way. She also volunteered with the Community Living Movement, advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families for more than 16 years.
“I’ve always felt that there is a reciprocal relationship to volunteering where I was giving to others, but I also gained so much from the experience. I developed useful skills volunteering and it’s always a great feeling to help others.”
As Alumni Association president, Raymond is eager to tap the great potential of U of A alumni.
“Great things come from small acts of generosity. As alumni there’s so much potential for our collective acts of goodness, whether volunteering or donating to a cause,” she says. “If we each make a small contribution, imagine what a difference we can make.”