Williams Lake principal honoured with Governor General’s Medal

Shirley Giroux graduated from UNBC with her PhD in Health Sciences

A Williams Lake principal received the Governor General’s Gold medal at the University of Northern B.C.’s convocation on May 31.

Shirley Giroux, Sacred Heart Catholic School principal, was recognized with the medal for achieving outstanding academic achievement at the graduate level.

She received her PhD in health sciences.

In presenting the medal, Dr. Lisa Dickson, associate professor in the English department at UNBC, said the Governor General’s Medals have been presented for more the 140 years to students in Canada.

“Shirley Giroux is described by her nominator as an exceptional learner and researcher,” Dickson said.

“Her doctoral study titled Like being pecked to death by a chicken: Resilience and work-family equilibrium in teacher/mothers explores the resilience strategies used by parent and non-parent teachers in their caring roles.”

A mother of two and school principal, Giroux played these roles while completing her degree.

“Giroux is, as her nominator notes, living proof of her own results,” Dickson added.

Showing the Tribune the medal on Monday, June 10, Giroux said it was fitting that one side depicts Governor General Judith Payette.

“She is a scientist and my undergrad degree was in sciences,” she said of Payette.

Last year in June, Giroux garnered a silver award during for a Canadian Institute of Health Research poster competition in June, held in Winnipeg. The poster was about her thesis.

Read more: Williams Lake principal sharing PhD research at Winnipeg conference

She said she hopes to publish her thesis in peer-review journals and turn it into something useful for other educators.

Fittingly, she defended her thesis on March 8, International Women’s Day, in the library at UNBC, she added.


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