Margaret (Smith) Parsons

Red Deer



Life and Work

Margaret Smith was a "first lady" in school when she obtained first-class honours in every one of 36 subjects she took in Grades 9 to 12 in Calgary. Years later, as Margaret Smith Parsons of Red Deer, she was actually named "First Lady in Education in Alberta, 1966" by the Council of School Administrators, for her service as a school and college trustee.

By then, she had five children, and her focus had changed from her own marks to those of young people in Red Deer and Alberta. Margaret started as a member of Home and School. She moved on to the Red Deer Public School Board as a trustee and chairman from 1955 to 1966. Concurrently, she served as an executive member of the Alberta School Trustees Association.

Red Deer had no post-secondary educational facilities in the 1950s, so she added that to her agenda. In 1963, the Red Deer Junior College opened with Margaret on both the local college board and the Alberta Association of College Administration. In 1968, she turned to municipal politics and won a seat as alderman. She was "first lady" again when she was named 1972 Red Deer Citizen of the Year.