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Kingston Regional Fair
Barbra Sproule — Youngest Teacher in Ontario
My project is on my great-grandmother, Barbra Sproule. Mrs. Sproule was a teacher at The Ompah School. She earned the achievement of youngest teacher in Ontario, when she started teaching at 16. She also had an active career in politics, as Mayor (at that time called a Reeve) and as the second female Warden of North Frontenac. She is now 83, and still an active participant in the county board meetings, as well as being chair of the severance committee.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
At first, when I started my project, I didn’t know the achievements Mrs. Sproule made. When I dug deeper, I learned that not only was she the youngest teacher in Ontario, she also was the second female warden of North Frontenac.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
I would consider ourselves to be lucky, as we have all sorts of advanced technology, and even some basic parts of our every day lives that we don’t even think about. Like running water, heat and electric lights. I think that we should all appreciate the things we take for granted and don’t acknowledge when we are using them.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
As I said in the above questions, I would say that our advance in technology has given us an advantage. Mrs. Sproule had to do her schoolwork by candlelight and pump water from outside. Her husband remembers when he saw his first car drive down the road. This may not sound like a big deal but when you think about what we have now it is quite surprising.