Two rural-rooted women earn Clearview applause

From five nominees, Clearview School Division trustees have selected dual winners of the Clearview Award of Merit.

From five nominees, Clearview School Division trustees have selected dual winners of the Clearview Award of Merit.

Charlene Anderson and Tricia Helfer will receive the award at Clearview’s annual recognition night June 19.

The Award of Merit was established to recognize the effort and dedication of Clearview students and employees, both past and present, who have achieved excellence at a national or international level.

Both women were described as having risen to the top of their chosen fields.

The board moved to have the names of the remaining three nominees, Dr. Cameron Grant, Brian Heidecker and Larry (Thumper) Jones, carried forward for consideration of next year’s Award of Merit.

Charlene Anderson was appointed a federal judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in February.

The Calgary lawyer was raised at Halkirk. She’s one of four children of Stan and Dorothy Anderson. She attended school in Halkirk and in Castor, graduating from Gus Wetter School in 1979.

Anderson obtained her law degree in Ontario and practised law in the Toronto area and Calgary before being named a federal judge.

“Charlene is an individual who has worked hard and strived to accomplish career goals, as well as remain a person with strong family values,” Gus Wetter School vice-principal Wendy Coppock said in her nomination letter.

“Her commitment as a wife and mother of three has been of the utmost importance and her dedication to the small town of Halkirk has been unwavering.”

Anderson and her husband, David Weyant, have three teenage children.

They have a summer home at Buffalo Lake.

Tricia Helfer was the co-winner of this year’s Clearview Award of Merit. She gained recognition as an international supermodel and an actress of film and television.

Helfer grew up on the family farm at Donalda. She’s one of four daughters of Dennis and Elaine Helfer.

She attended school in Donalda and at William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler.

A talent scout “discovered” Helfer in a movie lineup at the theatre in Stettler.

After a move to New York, Helfer’s modelling agency promptly sent her to Milan, and within a year, she was named Ford Supermodel of the World in 1992.

She accepted assignments from the biggest names in the fashion industry, including Versace, Chanel and Armani, and graced magazine covers around the world.

After 10 years in the fashion industry Helfer decided she wanted to become an actress, so she made the move to Los Angeles.

She was almost immediately cast in “Battlestar Galactica,” a role that made her famous.

She has appeared in Hollywood films and TV shows, while continuing to model.

In 2006, she won a Leo Award for best leading performance by a female in a dramatic series.

“Tricia is an excellent example of the calibre of student we take pride in graduating from our school system — that is one who is self-confident, self-reliant and self-motivated,” former teacher Jim Forde said in his nomination letter.

“Tricia is a very articulate young woman who is extremely proud of her rural upbringing.”

Helfer is married to lawyer Jonathan Marshall.