June 27, 2019
The last week of school is always a very fast one, with field trips, celebrations, and goodbyes, not to mention report card preparation and arrangements for next year occupying our minds. As such, our ROAR is a bit unconventional this week.
- On Tuesday, all of our students (except the grade 7s) went on field trips to the beach and pool. As always, family support allowed the primary students to explore an excellently low tide on a beautiful day at the East Beach in White Rock. Students (and grown-ups) dug in the sand, explored the tide pools, soaked up the sun (behind their protective layers of sunscreen, of course), enjoyed their snacks and had fun with each other and with their teachers. Older students trekked up to the Walnut Grove pool where (I hear) someone executed a fantastic double back flip off the diving board (you can have that sort of terror-inducing fun as far as I’m concerned), and then headed over to the park for a picnic lunch. Thanks to all parents who supported these trips and to the teachers who organized them.
- It wouldn’t be the last ROAR without my annual summer homework list for kids and families, although this year I had some help from a couple of students who inspired me. You can check it out by clicking on the image at right. I worked hard to find some things you might not thought of, and that don’t cost you a ton of money or require long drives. I hope you find at least one thing here that makes your summer awesome! Get out there, beyond your comfort zones, and try some new things. And keep a journal or blog or something to remember them by. I want you to look at this list as my parting gift to you. When you’re sitting under that fantastic tree, think of me for a minute, and imagine that I’d love to be sitting there with you.
- In this, my last ROAR ever, I want to extend my personal thanks to all of the staff, past and present, who have made my time at WLE such a fantastic learning and working experience. I could go to them for advice, bank on their support, and marvel at their tremendous work with your kids. I could rely on them to be patient when I needed patience, demanding when I needed to be pushed, but always honest, warm and kind. They were understanding and forgiving when I got thing wrong, and let me know when I got them right. I knew that they would try new things (however unconventional), and try them well. They asked me good questions, just as they ask the kids good questions. In short, they are all wonderful. The Lions Pride is lucky to have such a dedicated team of professionals working to ensure that the kids leave this school with positive memories and critical lessons learned. I want to thank them, too, for their poem performance today, and for the kind words they have shared with me. I could not be successful without all of you, and I will miss working with you.
- I would also like to ROAR my appreciation of the WLE families. I could always count on you to support the school, whatever the need. Whether it was setting stages and hanging lights for concerts, driving on field trips, or volunteering with classes, you were there. When we needed your help guiding the kids down the right path, you were there. When we disagreed, we could do it respectfully and still be friends afterwards. Your contributions to the school are many, and your contributions to my growth as a principal and as a human are equally many. I will miss everything about you, from the friendly morning greetings to the end-of-day waves as I drive out of the neighbourhood. Your engagement with your kids’ learning is the very best assurance of their long-term success. Keep engaged, involved and connected with this school and whatever one comes after. Thank you for the kind words, warm handshakes or hugs and generous gifts over the years. I am richer for having known you, and I will miss you all.
- My final ROAR is to the students of West Langley. You all have given me more than you know. If I was down, you cheered me up with games, jokes and enormous smiles. If I was up, you lifted me even higher. You tried everything I asked, even if it was hard, and you shared your energy and enthusiasm with me every day. You have stopped and listened when I asked you to stop and listen, and you have jumped and danced when I asked you to jump and dance. You all worked so hard at learning, and at truly being part of the Lions Pride. You have written me poems and drawn me pictures. You have tried in vain to teach me the ins and outs of 4-square and wall ball. You have encouraged me on the Terry Fox Run and at sports day. And in the last few weeks, you have shared with me how you feel about my leaving, about my work, and about my time with you at your wonderful school. I hope that you treasure our time together as I will, and that you will truly take to heart my words this morning. Go out and be explorers, inventors, artists and communicators. Be innovative problem-solvers and resilient fail-forwarders. Be helpers and givers and leaders. Let it be it your mission in life to make the people around you happier than they were before you arrived. I will miss you all, Lions, and I look forward to those times our paths will cross again, because I know that they will.