Kristy Honing: Paws-itive Education
Tuesday, September 26th, 2023
NWP Instructor Kristy Honing
Despite being allergic to animals and never having a pet growing up, Kristy Honing admits she has always been drawn to all creatures, great and small.
"As a little girl, I was the unofficial caretaker of the neighbourhood cats. These cats often found their way into my backyard and were corralled into my playhouse, where I lovingly cared for them until I had to let them return home."
Kristy's love for animals led her to enroll in the Animal Health Tech program at Northwestern Polytechnic's Fairview campus. Before being accepted into the two-year diploma program, prospective students must first complete 40 hours of work shadowing at a veterinarian clinic.
"The experience is designed to give people a glimpse of the day-to-day work and confirm that the program is a good fit," said Kristy. "But it rattled my confidence."
Kristy explained that she was apprehensive because she didn't know if she could handle seeing a lot of sick and helpless animals. "I had to change how I thought about it and realize I could help them." With a gentle reminder from her mother that she was made to do this, Kristy persevered.
In 2006, she graduated and moved to Edmonton, where she worked at a vet clinic for eight years. At this point, she found a teaching opportunity on Northwestern Polytechnic's website.
"I decided that a change of pace in the same field would be good for me," she said. "I wanted to be able to share the knowledge and expertise I had acquired over the years with the next generation of animal health professionals."
After interviewing and getting the job, she decided to take a chance and return to Fairview. And that's where she has been for nearly a decade, working with students and a working farm that is much bigger than her old playhouse!
Throughout her teaching career, Kristy has been an inspiration to her students. Her dedication to their success is evident in how she goes above and beyond to ensure students gain a deep understanding of the material.
When asked about her proudest moments, Kristy mentioned, "I cherish the times when my students experience breakthroughs in their learning journey. Witnessing their growth and seeing their passion for animal health ignite brings me immense joy and fulfillment."
Kristy is a devoted mother to three young children outside her professional life. She says, "Balancing my personal and professional responsibilities is no easy task, but I manage it." Her busy schedule doesn't deter her from leading an active lifestyle and participating in sports with her family. Kristy has found a way to strike the perfect balance between a meaningful career and profound community connections.