CORNER BROOK When Joanne Rumbolt paraded into the Pepsi Studio with her fellow Academy Canada graduates Friday afternoon, she had never even heard of the school’s President’s Award.
Before she knew it, she was up on the stage in front of the 207 other graduates, school staff, family, friends and special guests accepting the award given to an Academy Canada student who displays the values the school encourages all its students to have.
Those values include leadership, professionalism, good academic standing, a positive attitude and a strong sense of school spirit and pride.
It was not easy for Rumbolt to maintain all those values since her husband Preston was diagnosed with brain cancer about one year ago.
The couple had returned from Fort McMurray, Alta. two years ago with the thought of furthering their education and maybe returning to Alberta to land better jobs.
Rumbolt, 37, was halfway through her office administration technology diploma and Preston, 32, was well into his occupational health and safety course when he was diagnosed.
Preston, who is doing well these days, had to give up taking the course he too was supposed to graduate from Friday. Rumbolt, meanwhile, missed about a month and did some of her work at the school’s campus in St. John’s while her husband was being treated.
“I used to go to the hospital, stay with him and bring him to his radiation treatment, then go to school for a couple of hours and then go home with him again,” she said. “It’s been a really hard year.”
The couple won’t have to return to Western Canada. Rumbolt did her work term at Yates and Woods Ltd. and the Corner Brook surveying company has given her a full-time job.