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About the Author

Mary Shumilak
Audience Age Groups
Secondary (Grades 10-12)
Middle (Grades 6-9)

Mary Shumilak

Mary Grabowski, the youngest of four children and a first generation Canadian, grew up in Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada. She earned a B. Ed. from the University of Winnipeg and later, a certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University. She began her teaching career at Happy Thought School in East Selkirk, MB. Following her marriage in 1981, Mary and her husband moved to Saskatchewan where they lived, worked and raised their two sons in a number of communities and where she taught elementary school, in addition to doing some student counselling, administration, professional development and instructional coaching, before retiring in 2018. She has since written and published The Soul's Journey: Remembering a Legacy of Heroism & Resilience (Friesen Press 2021, Austin Macauley Publishers pending 2023), a memoir that honours her Polish family heritage in addition to providing connections to ancient and modern European history, today's persistent refugee crisis, as well as an epilogue containing two creative non-fiction stories that link young children to their long deceased great grandparents. Writing The Soul's Journey was an unplanned adventure. Mary now spends  her time reading, writing, keeping an eye on politics, taking classes of interest, getting daily exercise, cooking,  travel, and 'grandparenting.'


  • Children's—Middle Years
  • Memoir


Genre Writing
  • Creative Non-Fiction
  • Historical Projects
  • Memoir
Lecturing/Public Speaking
  • Conferences
  • Professional Development Workshops
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