The news of the demise of Cory Schoffer, the Executive Staff Officer of The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), shocked the educational world in Edmonton, Alberta, and beyond on December 3, 2023. The history of Cory Schoffer as a fervent supporter of educators and learning has permanently altered Alberta’s educational system.
Cory Schoffer dedicated nearly two decades of his life to the Alberta Teachers’ Association, serving as an Executive Staff Officer since 2004. His commitment and unwavering passion for the teaching profession earned him respect and admiration from colleagues and educators across the province. The announcement of his passing on the Alberta Teachers’ Association Facebook page was met with an outpouring of grief and heartfelt condolences.
“We are mourning the death of our colleague and friend Cory Schoffer,” the ATA’s official statement read. “Cory served as an executive staff officer with the ATA since 2004, working in various roles across the organization. He was a passionate advocate for teachers and the profession. He is remembered fondly by countless teachers across the province who knew him and benefited from his work. Our condolences to his wife and family.”
Jason Schilling, President of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, also expressed his sorrow and paid tribute to Schoffer. “Today we mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Cory Schoffer, who was not only a tireless advocate for public education but a genuine, all-around great person,” Schilling wrote. “Cory’s dedication to his family, his friends, his beloved dogs, and Winnipeg sports teams was legendary. He had a big heart, a big laugh, and was always quick with a witty reply. We will miss him terribly here at the ATA, and I will personally miss his friendship, laughter, and great advice. My deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and loved ones.”
Cory Schoffer’s impact extended beyond his role as an advocate for teachers; he was known for his warmth, compassion, and dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of those around him. Born with an innate passion for education, Schoffer pursued a Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership and Administration, General at the University of Prince Edward Island. His commitment to excellence in education was further recognized in May 2021 when he received an Honorary Membership from the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education (CAPSLE).
Schoffer’s educational journey began with a Bachelor of Education (BEd) at the University of Manitoba, laying the foundation for a career marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and a deep commitment to fostering an enriching educational experience for students and teachers alike. His academic achievements were a testament to his dedication to personal and professional growth, reflecting a lifelong commitment to the principles he advocated for within the educational community.
Throughout his tenure with the ATA, Cory Schoffer played a pivotal role in shaping educational policies, advocating for teachers’ rights, and championing the importance of a robust and inclusive education system. Colleagues remember him as a leader who approached his work with integrity, humility, and an unwavering commitment to the betterment of education in Alberta.
In addition to his professional achievements, Schoffer’s personal qualities endeared him to those who had the privilege of knowing him. His love for family, friends, and his four-legged companions was evident in the stories shared by those who worked closely with him. Cory Schoffer’s impact extended far beyond the boardrooms and classrooms; it reached the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to experience his kindness and camaraderie.
As the educational community mourns the loss of Cory Schoffer, there is a collective acknowledgment of the void left by his passing. However, his legacy lives on in the countless educators and students who have been positively influenced by his advocacy, leadership, and genuine passion for education. In the words of Jason Schilling, “Cory Schoffer’s dedication and impact on public education in Alberta will be remembered and cherished for years to come.”
In honoring Cory Schoffer’s memory, the educational community in Edmonton and beyond is reminded of the profound impact one individual can have in shaping the future of education. As colleagues, friends, and family come together to celebrate his life, they also reaffirm their commitment to continue the work Cory Schoffer dedicated his life to – creating a thriving and equitable educational environment for all.