News Archives: New Dean Appointed for the School of Trades, Agriculture and Environment
Tuesday, December 15th, 2020
Mark Heartt, Dean, School of Trades, Agriculture and Environment.
Mark Heartt is a Red Seal Carpenter and an entrepreneur. In his new role as Dean at Grande Prairie Regional College, he’ll be responsible for the School of Trades, Agriculture and Environment.
Heartt joined GPRC on December 7, 2020 after 14 years at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek as an instructor, chair, and Dean of the School of Trades and Apprenticeships.
While there are no hammers, saws or drills required in his current position, Heartt sees parallels to large construction projects in his past.
“As a Dean, I’m developing people and building a culture that is respected and professional,” he says. “I’m building confidence within my school for faculty, staff and students. As with any building project you can’t do it yourself. You need a strong team to get the job done.”
Heartt is responsible for ensuring GPRC programming is up to date while seeking opportunities for stimulating growth in the school and GPRC as a whole.
“Increasing enrolment of the school is my priority,” he says. “We’ll continue to use the technology that has been developed during the pandemic to reach learners that may not have been able to come to our campuses. We are always looking for more efficient ways to deliver quality programs to learners.”
Joining GPRC allows Heartt to build on the foundation he’d established at Northern Lights College and in his earlier industry experience.
“I wanted to expand my post-secondary experience at a larger college, and GPRC is the perfect fit for that,” says Heartt. “I had previously lived in Grande Prairie, from 1986 to 2002, so it feels like returning home.”
Heartt grew up on a mixed farming operation north of Dawson Creek in the Doe River area. He credits his strong work ethic with having worked for the family business.
“I joke that my dad was the toughest employer I’ve ever had. He couldn’t fire me and I couldn’t quit. Mom was Human Resources,” he says.
Heartt operated a construction company for 16 years and worked in the energy sector during the winter prior to joining Northern Lights College. He also returned for a stint raising cattle with his father until the farm was sold.
While he chose not to continue farming, Heartt’s background in this sector will be invaluable in the agriculture area of his portfolio.
“When I started my apprenticeship in 1986, I never would have guessed I’d be working as a Dean all these years later. My experience as a tradesperson has enabled me to see the larger picture, to be a leader and a problem solver. My time as a business owner has prepared me to manage budgets and projects and do strategic planning.”
Heartt is an advocate for trades education.
“I believe education is the gateway to independence for people. An educated society is a healthy, productive society. I’m passionate about trades training because of the possibilities that can happen for a qualified person. I’m a testament to that. I have to give credit to my trades background for the opportunities I’ve been given.”
When he is away from the office, Heartt enjoys curling, riding quads, and woodworking. He’s also a coach for Special Olympics curling.
Learn more abou tGPRC's School of Trades, Agriculture and Environment.