Wider Horizons

This story begins in the early 1980s, when Perry McCormick left Regina, Sask. and Laurette LaPlante left Swan River, Man. Both were heading west to attend Lethbridge College, a school that had the programs they were looking for, as well as a great reputation. While they got the education they were seeking, they also found each other.

Perry and Laurette’s favourite college memories include time at The Barn, and of course, meeting each other. Laurette also enjoyed spring field trips to Arizona that were led by Ron Beck and the Environmental Sciences instructors. “I had never been out of the country before that and we went to some of the most amazing places,” she says.

Laurette played volleyball as a student. Back then, the girls’ team was called the Kodiettes. She laughs about the name now, remembering that it used to bother her since she was an environmental sciences student and knew a thing or two about real Kodiaks.

Laurette’s college experience allowed her to pursue many interesting contract jobs in wildlife research. She travelled all over the prairies before settling down in Brooks, Alta. She also worked with the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society for over 20 years, promoting Alberta as a hunting destination to U.S. hunters.

Perry recently retired from a 31-year career with Ducks Unlimited; his final role was provincial manager of operations for Alberta. After finishing at the college, he earned a degree from the University of Lethbridge. “Lethbridge College was the compass that set my direction for my entire professional career,” he says.

Perry and Laurette both love the outdoors and passed their passion onto their children, Kade and Carson McCormick. “Our whole family has and will work in the environmental field,” Laurette says. “It makes me very proud.”

Perry echoes this sentiment: “I have both of my boys pursuing a career in conservation—so I guess LC had a lot of impact on our family.”

Kade is completing the Ecosystem Management degree at the college, having recently completed the Renewable Resource Management diploma. So far, his favourite experiences are with the Ducks Unlimited Student Chapter, particularly the mentored hunts where students experience waterfowl and upland bird hunting. Carson attended the University of Lethbridge and works for Ducks Unlimited in Brooks.

Kade McCormick

Renewable Resource Management 2017

Currently a student in the bachelor of applied science Ecosystem Management degree program

Laurette LaPlante

Environmental Science – Parks Management 1983

Coordinator of events and of the Western Communities Foundation at Western Financial Group

Perry McCormick

Fish and Wildlife 1982

Managing director of Pheasants Forever

LaPlante/McCormick Family
Left to right: Carson, Laurette, Perry and Kade, and their dog, Johnny. This plaque is in honour of Perry’s 30 years of service with Ducks Unlimited. It is on Buffalo Hills Ranch in southern Alberta.
Wider Horizons
Story by Megan Shapka
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