Mary Hickey is the recipient of the 2017 Mentor Award of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty and will receive the award on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. during a dinner in her honour at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown
Hickey, born and raised in P.E.I. and living in Stratford, attended West Royalty and East Royalty School and Notre Dame Academy. In 1968, she graduated from Saint Dunstan’s University with a bachelor of arts. Later in her career she earned a diploma in special education from UPEI in 1997 and a master of education in early childhood literacy from Mount St. Vincent University in 2002.
In 1969, with her husband, Paul, she volunteered with CUSO and travelled to Nigeria to teach English at secondary school for two years. Thus began a teaching career, which took her to Labrador City, N.L., Sept Isles, Que., Kibaha, Tanzania, Charlottetown and to rural Rwanda.
Hickey was chosen for the honour because of her belief in “service above self,” states a news release from the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty.
“As a public school teacher she was never satisfied with less than her best. She continued to study and improve her teaching skills through evening and summer school classes. She put in the long hours necessary to prepare lessons that allowed her students to succeed. She was always interested in learning new curriculum and in sharing her learning with her peers. Student teachers thrived under her mentorship.”
During her years as a CUSO/VSO volunteer in Africa, Hickey maintained the same high standards of work commitment. She did not allow bad roads, long drives on a motorcycle or heavy rains to keep her from meeting teachers at their schools when promised. She listened to her administrators and teachers with respect and managed to build trust and goodwill. Hickey also helped her teachers in Rwanda create teaching resources. Rotary assisted in this area by supplying funds to buy rice sacks, reference books and dictionaries for schools in two districts.
“Children in the Rwandan education system were very fortunate to have Mary come and spend years of her life helping to improve their country. Through her enthusiasm to help she was able to generate change and did so by involving all partners in the classroom,” says Winston Johnston, a member of Farmers Helping Farmers.
For more information, contact Earl Pickard at 902-892-4231. The deadline for purchasing tickets is today.
At a glance
Who: Mary Hickey, 2017 Mentor Award recipient
Family: A mother of three and grandmother of five
Passing it on: Suzanne, Christopher and David have learned the importance of sharing their talents with their community from their parents. Suzanne is a teacher and Kiwanis member who is adviser to the Key Club and Duke of Edinburgh Award Program at Colonel Gray High School. Chris does child protection work with social services and coaches soccer. David teaches in the English Department at UPEI, where he mentors aspiring writers.