By Lethbridge Herald on February 3, 2020.
Lethbridge College – Celebrating 50 years of policing education
Compassion, care and support for the people he met in his day-to-day duties are the attributes Curtis Sheck focused on every time he went to work. As a health-care aide, Sheck had a knack for helping people in need — until he gave it up.
“No matter what level of position I achieved, I always felt I was meant to do something else,” he says. “I continuously had a voice in the back of my head telling me to fulfill my dream of criminal justice.”
So at the age of 29, with a young family at home, Sheck left his health-care career and embarked on a new challenge in the Criminal Justice – Policing program at Lethbridge College.
There were moments when he second-guessed his choice. While listening to his instructors introduce themselves on his first day he remembers thinking “what the heck am I doing? I’ve already got a great job. Why am I going back to school?”
Returning to school as a mature student was intimidating, but he says the college community, his instructors and his classmates — even those who were younger than he was — helped him feel supported. He quickly gained his confidence. It turns out the attributes that served him well in health care — compassion, caring and support — also fit perfectly into his pursuit of a policing career.
But it turns out his career path had one more twist waiting for him after he graduated from Lethbridge College in 2017.
With two young children settled in their schools, Sheck and his wife didn’t want to leave Lethbridge. He chose to bide his time and wait for something that allowed him to stay in the city. That’s when he saw a posting for a Judicial Clerk position at the Lethbridge Courthouse.
His Lethbridge College training provided him the tools he needed to succeed in a career he had never anticipated.
“It would allow me to remain in the justice system, work one-on-one with a variety of police agencies and law firms, and best of all, have weekends off,” he laughs.
Sheck’s passion for helping people has suited him well in his new career. “When people come to court, I know they usually don’t want to be there,” he says. “They may be a victim, an accused or a witness. My job is to help make the process as smooth and quick as possible. I feel successful when the person I’m dealing with leaves feeling a little bit less stressed or upset.”
As the only male Judicial Clerk in Southern Alberta, he has earned the respect of his colleagues, and one of his career highlights was being personally asked by Provincial Court Judge Kristin Ailsby to be the clerk for her official swearing-in ceremony. It was another confirmation that he made the right choice by changing careers.
“My family had to sacrifice quite a bit of time with me so I could focus on college,” says Sheck. “But now, I’ve found a career that allows me to make up some of that lost time and is something I genuinely love to do.”