Two years ago, Ralph Troschke could tell he needed a change in his life.
The new director of enrolment services at Briercrest College and Seminary had served in an executive position in publically funded institutions for 11 years.
“For the last two to three years I’ve been trying to explore how I can serve the Lord better,” he said. “I had a desire to roll up my sleeves and get a little more connected again – especially with the students.”
The experience caused him to mull over some deep questions.
“‘What else can I do?’” he said, remembering his thought process. “I know it sounds corny, but ‘Is there a bigger meaning in life?’ I began scratching my head as to what I might do.”
At the beginning of the school year, Troschke saw a posting for the Briercrest enrolment position online. He applied for the job.
“Typically in the public sector it takes months to get a job,” he said. “It goes through committees and two or three rounds of interviews so I thought it would be the end of the school year before something happens.”
June Clark, Briercrest’s VP enrolment, remembers receiving Troschke’s resume.
“I was a bit fearful it was a mistake because if everything in the resume was accurate, he was overqualified for the job,” she exclaimed. “Not only was everything accurate in his resume, but during our first chat, he told me he was looking for some way of serving in a role that had more meaning than the roles he had been in.”
Clark recounts the swift turn of events that brought Troschke to his new position at Briercrest.
“He visited campus with his oldest daughter who fell in love with Briercrest and quickly imagined herself finishing her high school at CHS,” she said. “After more discussions by phone, Ralph accepted the job offer, with plans to start January 1. On their way home from a second visit to campus a week later, Ralph’s wife Angela encouraged him to see whether he could start sooner as he was so excited about the role.”
Troschke began work at Briercrest on November 1. The change happened so rapidly, Troschke’s wife and three children are finishing out this school year in Vermilion, Alta.
“My wife is a music teacher, so she committed to teaching music with her clients this year,” he explained. “My kids are in school. They’ll come out here in May and June.”
Besides giving his focus to increasing enrolment at Briercrest, Troschke looks forward to having more contact with students.
“I started out as an instructor,” he said. “They’re going to get me to teach come fall. I enjoy the student contact. My teaching career was very early on, so a lot of it was just having fun with the students and regurgitating what I had learned. But I’ve actually come to know that with my experiences I can add a lot more colour to the classroom now.”
“I’ve gotten to meet governors general and prime ministers,” he said. “It’s all been good. I think the best moments, though, have been in the classroom.”
The administrator has had a wide and varied career. He says a highlight was teaching for three years in the Middle East.
“It was really fascinating,” he exclaimed. “I taught royal princesses and extended royal family. It was an interesting exchange to get their perception of Western society. They would watch a soap opera and they really thought that’s the way we were. It was hard to convince them that that was not everyday existence for most westerners.”
Clark is thankful for how Troschke’s ability to work with people and his depth of experience add to the enrolment department.
“As I now observe Ralph working with his staff and hear back words of appreciation from colleagues after they meet with him, I am reminded that Ralph’s experience and particular mix of abilities are yet another confirmation that God continues to bring to us the right people at the right time.”