“I’m very humbled by it. This is a community of volunteers, and a community of people that work together, and to be given this honour, I’m very grateful,” said Krizsan. “I was surprised. I always think that there’s others much more fitting for the award. It’s just the last thing in the world you think of happening to you. To be nominated by someone in the community is very heartfelt. I appreciate it very much.”
Krizsan will officially receive her award on Jan. 17 during the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner and Awards Night, which will be held at the Heritage Inn. Other recipients for this year include Taber Transport (Small Business of the Year), Joel Mills of Pro Performance Gym (Spirit of Taber), and Ross Jaber of the Mediterranean Grill (Customer Service Excellence).
Having lived in the Taber area since the age of 12, Krizsan graduated from W.R. Myers High School and married and raised a family of four while farming in the Barnwell area, and also attended university.
“I went to university and got my degree in education, and taught at Central School, and then I taught at Barnwell for many years. I always taught Grade 1.”
After retirement from a career as a teacher, Krizsan became involved in local politics as a school board trustee, serving three consecutive terms on the Horizon School Division board of trustees.
“Until recently, I’ve been involved with Horizon School Division, the last three years as board chair, which was a real growing experience. A wonderful group of people to work with, all of the board and the staff, I can’t say enough about the staff that they have in the schools and administration. It’s first class. I’ve always been so grateful for the support I’ve had from the people in this area. It’s been very gratifying to see the support.”
Serving as a trustee enabled Krizsan to stay involved with the educational environment beyond a direct professional association.
“I think anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my teaching, and my classroom, and my schools. I just loved what I did. Someone asked me how you feel about working on the school board, and I said I just love it. I love it because I’m back in the schools working with kids again, and for parents and families. It was a wonderful way to have a culmination of my teaching life, and my teaching experience, was to get back in, in this context. So that’s kept me quite busy for the last nine years.”
Participation through other associations has broadened Krizsan’s understanding of Canada’s First Nations peoples, as well as allowing her to work for children and families.
“I’ve also been quite privileged to have been appointed to the Child and Family Services Authority, the regional one out of Lethbridge. I completed my term there, and worked with an absolutely amazing group of people. I was privileged to meet so many that just give their hearts and souls for children and families. I was able to work on the Aboriginal committee on this board. I met some amazing people, and I’ve just learned so much about First Nations culture. It’s just been a wonderful experience for me, and I hope to be able to continue in some way my association with the Aborginal people in any way that I can.”
Krizsan’s activities through her church have allowed her to volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program, something she encourages others to consider as a volunteer option.
“I do a lot of church work in my church, I take part in pretty well all avenues and activities in the church, and so that keeps me busy. Another activity I’ve done over the last few years, through other organizations including the church, is Meals on Wheels. I would ask anyone that just wants to take a little time to do this service. It’s just been a most gratifying experience for me.”
Honouring Canada’s veterans, especially those that reside in the community, is an important duty for all citizens to consider and something to which Krizsan feels a personal connection.
“Of course there’s my Legion work, and the Legion is very near and dear to my heart. I’ve done the Legion literary poster event for many years. The Legion does wonderful work for the veterans, both within our community, and nationally. We’re quite a few years from our last world war — thank God — but we still have men and women serving around the world. They’re coming home, and they need our help and recognition. I go into the schools to try to get the teachers to talk about remembrance, and honour the men and women who did so much for us and for our country. I belong to the Ladies Auxiliary, my dad was a veteran, and he belonged to this branch after the war.”
An avid reader, Krizsan is active in the Barnwell Library community, and likes to attend local sporting events in Taber and Barnwell.
“I’ve been active with the library in Barnwell for quite a few years, and that follows with my love for reading. I taught kids to read for quite a few years, and I love reading. It’s probably one of my favourite pastimes. I like to go to all of the basketball games, I have for years. And I like to come in to the Rebels games in Taber, I enjoy watching the young people play.”
Krizsan pointed out our local community is special, considering the level of community spirit it often fosters, and the dedication of countless volunteers which provide the elbow grease to make numerous charitable events resounding success stories.
“We have a community that volunteers. We have people that will step up, whether it’s a family in need, an individual in need, if it’s flood or fire as we’ve seen in our province the last few years — and they just step right up to the plate and give service. Volunteers are the glue that holds our community together. I must say that when you volunteer, you might give your time, but you get a whole lot more back. You certainly receive more than you ever give. I think we all have an innate need to help others.”
The Taber and District Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner and Awards Night is Jan. 17 at the Heritage Inn, with dinner commencing at 7 p.m. Tickets can be obtained by phoning 403-223-2265 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org