| Apr 12, 2007

Feature Article - April 12, 2007

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Feature Article - April 12, 2007

Gerry Fast, Linda Wolsey win outstanding service awards

by Jeff Green

“The Outstanding Service Award is presented to those individuals who consistently provide outstanding service to students at a level significantly beyond what is usually expected from an incumbent in the position,” is how the Limestone District School Board describes the award that was presented to 10 recipients last night.

Two of those recipients are Lynda Wolsey, a long serving secretary at Sydenham High School, and Gerry Fast, the Executive Director of KAIROS, an addictions counselling service that under Gerry’s watch has extended its services into schools throughout Frontenac County.

Lynda Wolsey goes way back at Sydenham High School (SHS). She started at SHS as a student, began working with the school board in 1968, and since 1987 has been working at the high school.

SHS principal Ann Otonicar nominated Lynda for the award, and she told the News earlier this week that Lynda “has really done it all for the students and the staff here.”


In the citation that Otonicar wrote, she described both Lynda Wolsey’s professional role and the extra commitment that she given to SHS for the past 20 years. “Students, parents and staff truly appreciate Lynda, and have come to her for all manner of questions, advice, and support. They have relied on her ‘corporate memory’ to inform staff about family connections so that they did not miss anyone in supporting the school’s students, whether it was a happy event or sad one. She has always been patient and never seemed to tire of the challenges and the busy nature of the job.

“Mrs. Wolsey appreciates the importance of educating the whole individual. In the past she has coached cheerleading and golf, as well as being a key member of the Fashion Show crew. Her endless spirit and support of life at Sydenham has been amazing. Lynda has traditionally organized the school’s holiday staff Kris Kringle. She has even been known as a dance instructor for the ‘boot scootin’ boogey’”.

Lynda Wolsey lives in Sydenham with her husband Alan

Gerry Fast –

In 1975, Gerry Fast began working for Kairos, a community-based rehabilitation program for young people with drug, alcohol, gambling and behaviour problems, which was formed in 1973 in response to needs that were identified in the City of Kingston. Kairos is an independent charitable organisation that is associated with Queens University.

In 1979 Gerry Fast became the director of Kairos, and he will be retiring from that position this year. In his role as director, Gerry has extended Kairos’ services into the schools, particularly in rural Frontenac County.

Throughout the years, he has remained active in counselling. In addition to his administrative role, he has maintained a full roster of clients, and served students through outreach centres at Frontenac Secondary School, Ernestown Secondary School, Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Sydenham High School, LaSalle Secondary School, and Sharbot Lake High School.

The citation for Gerry Fast’s service award makes specific reference to how he has worked to extend services to students in elementary as well as high school: “Over the past decade, Gerry has led several expansions of services. For example, KAIROS now works in Limestone District School Board elementary schools, providing information about drugs, addictions, and about the skills needed to make good social choices. A gambling education program is also now available for both elementary and secondary students… He has acted as an agent of hope for so many of our students.”

Gerry Fast lives in Godfrey with his wife Anne.

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