Kelly Negus celebrates retirement after serving the Municipality for over 35 years
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Long-time Day Care Manager Kelly Negus celebrated her retirement this spring after 36 years of providing childcare services within the Municipality of Sioux Lookout.
Negus, who is originally from Quebec, moved to Sioux Lookout in the early 80’s where she expected to be in the Municipality for just a short time while gaining experience in the field. She said she quickly fell in love with the town, which has been her home ever since.
“I moved here in the fall of 1983 after graduating from college thinking I would just spend about six months getting some experience, and that was 37 years ago. I spent the first six years at the Nora Love Children’s Centre as a frontline teacher, and I had the opportunity to become the Day Care Manager in the fall of 1989,” said Negus.
“It didn’t take long to fall in love with the community. People in Sioux Lookout are very welcoming. Both our kids were born here, so this does feel like home for us,” she added.
Negus said she really enjoyed the opportunity to provide childcare services to Sioux Lookout families over the years. She said she’s going to miss her fellow staff members, along with the kids and their families.
“For me it was a privilege to be able to help so many children and families throughout the course of my career. I got to meet a lot of really wonderful children, along with their families, so it truly was a privilege for me to work for the Municipality providing childcare,” said Negus.
“There are a lot of things I’m going to miss. Over the years I’ve had really wonderful staff members that I worked with, so I will really miss them. I’ve had a very supportive relationship with the Municipality, including present and past CAO’s (Chief Administrative Officers), Mayors, and Councils. I’ll miss that part of it, but most of all I’ll miss the kids,” she said.
Negus confirmed she and her husband plan to stay in Sioux Lookout, where they hope to enjoy gardening and travelling following COVID-19.
“My husband and I, who also just recently retired, have no plans on leaving Sioux Lookout any time soon,” she said.
“We haven’t been able to have a garden in many years with my husband being away during the summer time fighting fires and with me having to work every summer, so we’ve started up gardening again. That’ll take up a fair bit of our time. As soon as this COVID-19 crisis is over we’d like to do some travelling as well, but we’ll have to wait and see when we can start that… It was a surreal way of thinking about retirement because it happened during the pandemic. I envisioned it a little differently, but it’s okay because it all worked out,” she concluded.
In a media release on May 28, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout announced Gisele Southwell has been promoted to Day Care Manager.
“Gisele Southwell, promoted from Day Care Supervisor to Day Care Manager, following Kelly Negus’ retirement. Gisele has almost 30 years of faithful service to the Municipality, and is looking forward to continuing the tradition of providing first rate childcare services to the residents of our community,” the press release shared.