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From the side of the table to the end
Ann Rose Kerkovius appointed co-chair of Nunavut Arctic College board of directors

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Friday, November 16, 2012

KUGLUKTUK/COPPERMINE
Ann Rose Kerkovius wants to make it clear that it's never too late to go back to school, as she embarks on her journey as a newly-appointed co-chair of the Nunavut Arctic College's board of directors.

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Ann Rose Kerkovius was appointed a co-chair of the Nunavut Arctic College's board of directors late last month. - photo courtesy of Ann Rose Kerkovius

Kerkovius has been a regular board member for the past two years, and was promoted late last month, along with Suzanne Misheralak of Rankin Inlet, appointed as co-chair. Nine people sit on the college's board two from each region, both a staff and student representative and the college's president.

"I was very honoured to be asked (to co-chair)," said Kerkovius. "What I would like to continue doing is promoting to students and adults to continue education and keep learning."

Born in an iglu outside Kugluktuk, Kerkovius lived a traditional, nomadic life with her family until she was taken away to attend residential school. She left the territory in 1973, moved down south, then attended university at age 50, graduating with an undergraduate and masters degree in social work from the University of Victoria. She returned to the North in 2005 to start her career in social work in Rankin Inlet, then Kugluktuk in 2007. Kerkovius is the supervisor of social programs with the territorial government in the Kitikmeot community.

"I've always wanted to come home to Nunavut that's my home place and job opportunity came and I came back up," she said.

Now in her 60s, Kerkovius has been married 39 years. She and her husband have two daughters and two granddaughters.

Kerkovius has served on the college's board as a regular member for the past two years, which she said was a steep learning curve as this was her first time on a board, there is lots to learn and understand how the process works. Education is important to Kerkovius. Her parents valued education as they did not receive one, so she said she wants to pass along education is important

"Education has always been important to me. It doesn't matter how old you are, you can go back to school any time," she said. "The students in Nunavut have huge opportunities to go to school, go to college, go to trade school. If they have goals, it can lead them to higher education."

Kerkovius said she will stay in Kugluktuk for the foreseeable future.

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