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Local Spotlight on Erin Wilkie January 11, 2022 @ 4:30pm

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I like to say Bigmoor - between Big Valley and Byemoor. Grew up in Red Willow and Pilot Knob districts - I could have just said north of Stettler but that doesn't lend itself to acknowledging the great neighbors and community events I experienced growing up.

Why do you (did you) choose Stettler as home?

I met this smart, handsome, quiet, and witty rancher from Big Valley who kind of stole my heart when I least expected it. When I chose his marriage proposal, I guess that's how I came to choose that I would be living among the hills of Big Valley.

What do you do? What is your full title?

At my "paying" job, I am the manager at the Stettler Learning Centre. Monday thru Thursday I witness the SLC staff (Peg, Laura, Kae-Lynn, and Dee) and our amazing tutors inspire, empower, support, guide, and care for strangers and acquaintances on their educational journey. I thoroughly enjoy working with these women who are creative, insightful, dedicated, super funny, and fun! While they are working the front lines, I am working behind the scenes. I also ranch with my husband and children - too many titles to list with that job!


Red Deer College. Informal education? Yes please! Mental Health and Psychology are my main areas of informal ed.


Clint and I have been married 20+ years and have a 19 year old son and a 16 year old daughter. I suppose the dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and cattle are part of our family too - somedays they require more attention than the kids. They certainly eat more!!

Who inspired you in your youth? Aunt Mary-Ellen Chapman

Who inspires you now?

This might sound strange but I am learning that I need to be my own inspiration and am trying hard to show up for myself. It's taken me a long time to understand this concept but in the last couple years it's all starting to make sense to me. My children and husband unknowingly inspire me daily to work hard at showing up. They need me to be present for them and I can't do that well if I'm not showing up for myself. Anyways...

The adults that pick up the phone or walk through our door to ask for guidance from SLC are also my inspiration. I entered the world of Adult Education just about two years ago coming off of instructing Kindergarten. I never would have imagined the parallels of emergent 5 year old's and 18+ year old's who didn't have a positive education experience or simply made some choices that hindered their education. At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust. You need to trust in yourself, trust the instructor, and trust the system. If you don't have a trust base, learning can be intimidating, overwhelming, and you can quickly feel deflated. For many people it takes an awful lot of vulnerability, courage and ego to ask for educational guidance or help as an adult. The staff and I recognize how hard it can be and we want the public to know we "get" the struggle and understand that the challenge is very real (and that's ok!). We take a team approach to help the individuals who are taking a chance on us at SLC - we want everyone to feel safe, confident, supported and encouraged. If we can inspire them, they in turn will likely inspire someone else; such a beautiful domino effect that is.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love nothing more than a good ol' two-step! Music, trekking around exploring new places, and volleyball are a few of my hobbies.

What are your plans for the future?

So many plans! Winning the lottery - building an indoor riding arena for my family so we can train horses and so we can ranch full time would be my top plan (a saltwater pool, jacuzzi, fireplace and volleyball/basketball court would also be attached to the arena. "Hay", it never hurts to dream big!!). I look forward to the day when I don't have to go to an off the ranch job and can give more of my time to volunteering in my communities too. Until then, I plan to keep giving my all at SLC and exposing what it is we do here. The staff and I literally have the opportunity to encourage and empower thousands of people through education if the Town and County of Stettler residents know about the opportunities Stettler Learning Centre offers. That's a pretty exciting plan to me!

Anything else you would like to add about being a resident of Stettler?

Living in the County and attending school, doing business, attending recreational events and working in Stettler has been wonderful. I have traveled abroad and through my travels learned that "here" is where I want to be. We have awesome communities in the County because of the dedicated people who care for each other and who want to see their communities flourish. It is so much fun for me traveling around the County going to curling rinks, ball diamonds, fundraisers, drive-in movies, "watering holes", arenas, street dances, parades, homecomings, fall suppers, churches, markets, you name it; there is a lot of fun to be had and great people to be with. While my address may be Big Valley, I consider the County and Town of Stettler home.

Thank you to Erin Wilkie for participating in our Local Spotlights.


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