Richard Rempel Retires

Rick Rempel Retires
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As per article on Pembina Valley Online...

A new era is set to launch for the Carpentry program at W.C. Miller Collegiate in Altona.

After leading the RRTVA program for 25.5 years, dedicated instructor, Richard Rempel, retired this past week.

Hired in 1994, Rempel says he was brought in to help revitalize the course which had been scheduled to be shut down, explaining that Don Wiebe, who was Superintendent of the Rhineland School Division at the time, had convinced the board of trustees to give it another shot.

Since then, with the support of the school, the current Border Land School Division and the RRTVA, Rempel has built up the program to be quite successful.

"I told myself I would give myself three years to have the program where I wanted it," he reflected, chuckling that after nearly three decades it's still not to that point. "That was unrealistic," he noted.

Having witnessed many changes to the craft and to education as a whole, Rempel says he always tried to keep the learning and the equipment current and believes that's one of the reasons why its revitalization was a success. In addition, he says building actual houses also played a role in attracting students.

"We try to have interesting projects. We try to make it the least onerous as possible to do some hard work, but we find the students like that kind of challenge," he noted.

While Rempel says they promoted apprenticeship from the very beginning of the program, he feels having the province jump on board with the concept in the last 15 years or so has really helped to boost an appreciation for earning the education needed behind a career in trades, rather than just on-the-job learning.

During his time leading the Carpentry program at W.C. Miller, Rempel has overseen the construction of nearly 50 houses, hundreds of sheds and dozens of other projects. However, one of the things he's most proud of is having 3 Skills Canada gold medal winners come out of the program since 1994.

Rempel adds he also enjoys seeing former students that continued a career in carpentry after graduation, who started their own businesses and are now hiring the next generation of graduates from the program.

Additionally, he says it's great to see that a former student and current colleague, Kevin Janz, will now oversee the program.