Rhonda (Kroening) Gaudreault (1992)
In the summer of 1992, I was looking for a job to assist with my post-secondary tuition. I don’t remember exactly how I heard about the position of Museum Assistant; however, growing up in Millet it was likely through word of mouth from one of the wonderful community members. I was excited to be offered such a great opportunity so close to home. It was only a few blocks away from my house where my parents still live today… 28 years later!
Growing up I had a lot of family members that told me stories about Millet and I was very interested in immersing myself in that culture and history. During my summer at the Millet Museum, I was able to build my knowledge of Millet’s history and learn details about artifacts and how to preserve them for future generations to appreciate. I was also able to expand my public speaking skills by facilitating museum tours for visitors. I recall being very timid and uncomfortable at first, but quickly learned to enjoy sharing my newfound knowledge with the guests. This was a very important skill that I continue to benefit from in my current career.
During my time at the Millet Museum I also learned a lot about teamwork and collaboration. Working alongside my fellow employees and volunteers introduced me to a wide variety of individuals of different ages and backgrounds. I strongly feel that a great deal of my maturity and community values came from my summer with the Millet Museum team.
The student funding that I received was very important in assisting with my post-secondary education. Being from Millet meant that I had to leave home for school and would require not only tuition, but also rent, food, and transportation. My student funding helped alleviate some of the financial burden, and I remain truly grateful.
I currently live with my husband, Philippe, in Southwest Edmonton. I have two children, Sydney (23 years old) and Lucas (19 years old), as well as two step-children, Nicholas (27 years old) and Danika (25 years old). Our whole family is very interested in history and culture all over the world. We have travelled extensively and always find a way to ensure we include historical tours to help us fully understand and appreciate the cultures we are visiting. We also try to ensure we are able to bring donations to support communities in need, both at home and abroad. Donations have included anything from school supplies and sporting goods to monetary donations and/or volunteerism. Some of the destinations we have travelled to include: Africa, Peru, Thailand, Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
Presently, I work as a commercial bank account manager at the Business Development Bank of Canada. I have been with BDC for over 11 years and continue to enjoy helping entrepreneurs each day. Through BDC I also participate in a lot of community volunteer programs such as the Edmonton Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.
One of my favorite memories of the Millet Museum was working with another summer student and being super scared whenever we heard noises coming from the basement. We were convinced that the exhibits were haunted and would hold on to each other while we slowly made our way down the stairs to investigate the noises. Given all that history…you never know! We had fun with it!
I encourage all students that are lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work with the Millet Museum team to simply appreciate the position and respect the people and history of our great community. I also remind them to be catalysts for visitors to learn about and enjoy the wonderful community I had the honour to grow up in. The history of Millet will always have a special place in my heart, and the Millet & District Museum keeps that history alive for future generations to appreciate.