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Digitized Primary Resources

Ella Rita Croteau Zakariasen

Ella Rita Croteau was born on a farm in the District of Parry Sound, Ontario, in 1914, to Rose Ellen Gallagher and Francis Elmer Croteau. Within a matter of weeks the family relocated to Saskatchewan, where Croteau's father found employment as a brakeman with the Canadian Pacific Railway, based out of the divisional point town of Sutherland (now a part of Saskatoon). Ella Croteau graduated from Saskatoon Collegiate in 1930 and attended Saskatoon Normal School to earn her Interim First Class Teacher's Certificate in 1932. She taught in rural Saskatchewan for five years before answering an advertisement for teachers in Alberta. She attended Summer School in Calgary and earned her Permanent Certificate in Teaching in 1939, then taught briefly in southern Alberta before her marriage to Sidney Zakariasen. Ella and Sidney Zakariasen had two daughters, Lynne and Gail, and lived in Drumheller, Alberta. Ella Croteau Zakariasen returned to full-time teaching in 1950 until her retirement in the early 1970s. She died in St. Albert, Alberta, at the age of 94 years.

The three, short biographical pieces in this collection focus primarily on Ella Croteau's life growing up in a Saskatchewan 'railway town' during the Great Depression, and on her years teaching in an assortment of rural postings in Saskatchwan and Alberta, and in the larger centre of Drumheller. The collection also includes copies of Saskatchewan and Alberta teaching certificates, documentation relating to visits from school inspectors, and photographs of various school buildings.








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