Meet a retired teacher at Helen Henderson Care Centre
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Meet a retired teacher at Helen Henderson Care Centre Featured

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by Andrea Ruiz, Activity Aide

Integrity is what matters most in life to Bill Rooksby, a 79-year-old resident and retired teacher at Helen Henderson Care Centre in Amherstview.

“You don’t have much to operate on if you can’t trust the people you are operating with,” says Bill who after feeling frustrated with the education system decided to teach federal female inmates at the Prison for Women.

“I felt like this was a place where I could make a difference,” he says with sincerity.

Bill was born in Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario. He moved around a lot when he was younger due to his father’s work in the mining industry. After high school, he earned a degree in English and History at Western University in London, Ontario. Afterward, Bill advanced to Teacher’s College at Queen’s University in Kingston.

It was there that Bill met a local woman named Connie whom he married and currently resides with at Helen Henderson Care Centre.

Bill earned his credential in Special Education with The Ministry of Education. It was at Prison for Women where he put his training and desire to help others to use while teaching female federal inmates English language skills.

Receiving Christmas cards from inmates who were released, reintegrated and doing well, is what Bill describes as his proudest moment while teaching at the prison.

After teaching at the Prison for Women, Bill embarked on a successful 25-year career with the Correctional Services of Canada, working in program development and administration. As part of the interdisciplinary team, Bill was responsible for conducting vocational assessments and inmate program development at various federal correctional institutions.

When asked what advice Bill would give for a young teacher, Bill says, “Teach by example.”  


He notes kindly, “A great teacher will always lead by example. This is a truly valuable lesson to learn from teachers as it enables one to be humble in nature.”

Helen Henderson Care Centre is proud to celebrate the good work of teachers who returned to the classroom this month. To learn more about living or working in our home, please call 613-384-4585.

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