One of the founders of the University of Lethbridge's Faculty of Education has passed away. Dr. Samuel Aubrey Earl passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 7, just two days prior to his 101st birthday.
Earl was a respected educator whose career encompassed roles of teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, a director within Edmonton's Department of Education and professor/director of student teaching at the University of Alberta.
His journey to Lethbridge began innocently enough with a suggestion from his wife Thera.
"There is a new university opening in Lethbridge," she had said. "Maybe they'd consider you as a prospect."
Earl joined the "new university" in 1967 as a professor, and was a key architect in shaping the highly recognized teacher preparation program. He helped establish the 27-week field experience component of the program (which has grown to become one of the most extensive in Canada), a foundation of theory and practice that he could foresee outshining some of the larger institutions.
"I think we came to be recognized as a prestigious, decent and noteworthy institution," Earl once said in an interview. "Our students were sought after not only in western Canada, but in the United States."
Earl was a visionary who served in many roles as a lifelong educator, including appointment as associate dean of Education at the University of Lethbridge.
"I envision seeing a school with doctors of education – reading specialists, math specialists, psychologists, wonderful teachers, great leaders, innovators…"
An obituary is available at the Lethbridge Herald website.