- 2001 Sportsperson of the Year -
In 1977, John became the Secretary Treasurer of the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association – a unique association of the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic Board of Education’s intcrscholastic athletic programs. This association that is the envy of school districts across the nation. It was an additional, and time consuming position to his main day job as Specialist of Athletics with the Calgary Board of Education Physical Education Department. He was also a very dedicated representative for this association at the Provincial and National level.
Like his predecessors, John Mayell and Ward Steckle, John is someone who made a difference in the role that athletics plays in our community. He was also a Director of the Calgary Booster Club and Lindsay Park Sports Centre, President of the Alberta Health and Physical Education Council, a designated delegate to the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association and the Western Canadian Physical Education Supervisors and Consultants Association, and the Canadian Federation of High School Athletic Associations. In addition John volunteered for many community activities and organizations. His leadership and inspiration were indeed invaluable.
A native Calgarian and a product of the education system he eventually served for thirty-six years, John attended Alexandra Elementary School, Stanley Jones Junior High School and Crescent Heights High School. He obtained a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta in 1956, a Masters of Science degree from the University of Oregon in 1961, and in 1983 completed all the required graduate course work in a Master of Administrative Studies at the University of Calgary. He taught at Viscount Bennett High School, Henry Wise Wood High School, Lord Beaverbrook High School and Ernest Manning High School. His experience with the instructional program in Alberta has been as a student and then as a teacher of English, Social Studies, Health, Physical Education, Music, Guidance, then finally as an administrator with the Calgary Board of Education. While he has coached a variety of athletics, his area of expertise became football which became his favourite extracurricular activity.
It is sometimes easy to overlook the contributions someone like Mr. Semkuley makes in the community because of his chosen career. He has coached in the Junior Prairie Football League with the Calgary Colts, worked for a combined 25 years as assistant timekeeper, then as official scorer and scoreboard operator and head timer and chief of the timing crew at Stampeder football games, track and field Equipment Manager for The World Police and Fireman Games, coach for a Calgary General Hospital team in the Senior Women’s Basketball League and Little League Baseball coach being some of the activities that took up his spare time.
John is very close to Jean, his wife of 41 years, his three sons, two daughter-in-laws, five grandchildren and many members of the immediate expanded family. Like most grandfathers, he delights in his opportunities to enjoy play and funtime with his grand¬children. The Calgary Booster Club is pleased to honour John Semkuley as the 2001 Sportsperson of the Year.