Anthony Stainsby


A matter of time

An educational assistant shows us it can all work out over time.

Anthony Stainsby has the best job he’s ever had. He’s an educational assistant in the Centre for Excellence in Foundational Learning at Bow Valley College. Here, he has helped students with disabilities, such as partial blindness and partial deafness, get through their courses. But the father of three has faced his own difficult challenges to get to where he is. The first seemed insurmountable.  

In 1983, when Stainsby was working in the oil patch, he was struck by a forklift he was operating. It weighed at least two tons. He shattered both his femurs, his pelvis, and his large intestine. The doctors told Stainsby’s mother that if he lived, he’d be a vegetable. 

But after a year in the hospital, he recovered. Stainsby speaks of his recovery quite modestly, saying “just time” got him through.  

Time would turn out to be on his side as he continued to go through life. He came to Bow Valley College as a learner in 2010 (it was his second time at the College; the first time was in 1985) for Academic Upgrading. But he was having a hard time in his courses. That’s when he went to Specialized Support (now Learner Success Services), where the staff told him he qualified for extra learning help. They got him a tutor. “I would have never made it anywhere without them,” says Stainsby. Learner Success Services extended the time he had to complete a one-year course, too. “That was really good,” says Stainsby. “It took me a little bit longer, but the end result is the same.”

So sometimes, getting things done faster isn’t better. 

Stainsby has been working at the College for the past six years, and says the students and staff are his favourite part of the job. “That fixes me up, if I have good students and staff members,” he says. And he hasn’t only worked and attended school here – he has volunteered at the College a lot. Plus, his daughter went to the YWCA Child Care Centre on campus in the late 1980s, and today she teaches here as a nursing instructor. 

Still, when Stainsby recounts his years at the College, it’s the help from Learner Success Services that seems to stand out the most. “They explained to me that some people have difficulty learning later in life,” he says. “I was really doing quite poorly until they stepped in to support me. Then, my marks picked right up. I’m eternally grateful.” 

Anthony is pictured above with his daughter. 


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