News Archives: GPRC Celebrates 2020 Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal Winner
Thursday, December 17th, 2020
Janelle Wimperis, 2020 Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal Winner.
Most students in the Early Learning and Child Care program don’t already own a daycare centre. Then again, GPRC graduate Janelle Wimperis is a master of applying practical life experience to classroom knowledge.
Prior to entering the daycare world, Wimperis, 36, was a senior leader at one of Canada’s largest banking centres. She was set to assume an executive role for when she returned to work at CIBC from her maternity leave - but then had a change of heart.
“My husband and I are all-in people when we do things - and I realized I couldn’t juggle the executive career and parent my children the way I wanted,” she says. “So, we decided to make a leap and buy a building to go into the daycare business.
“We had always planned on making a transition in some way when we had kids to be able to spend more time with them when they were young.”
To build a strong foundation in early childhood education while raising her children (Blake, 3; Kallen,16 months; and a third due in May), and managing her Calgary-based business, Right Start Daycare, Wimperis searched online for programs that offered flexibility for working moms.
Her persistence paid off. Now a proud holder of a diploma in Early Learning and Child Care from GPRC, Wimperis is also this year’s winner of the Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal - one of the most prestigious awards a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive.
The medal is only awarded to one student each year, who achieves the highest overall grade point average upon graduation from a diploma-level, post-secondary program, with a minimum two-year, full-time duration. The award includes a cast-bronze medal and a certificate signed by the Governor General.
“I’m honoured to win this award. I always do everything to the best of my ability and take a lot of pride in my work, and while awards aren’t necessarily important to me, it was very special to have this recognition,” says Wimperis, who has high praise for her experience at GPRC.
“The program allowed me to achieve my goals and balance them with everything else going on in my life. Teachers were supportive and the quality of learning was excellent; it exceeded my expectations.
“My education here only further deepened my overall knowledge about child development and gave me the tools I needed to apply that to everyday life situations.”
Wimperis has also found much of the wisdom and skills gained in her banking career have transferred over to her current role as the general manager of a daycare. “From making sure everything operates on a day-to-day basis and making connections with staff to nurturing relationships with parents - these are all so important,” she says.
“Parents have to trust and believe in what you do on a daily basis. To enable that trust, those personal connections are the most important thing.”
Learn about GPRC's Early Learning and Child Care program.