A Message from Principal Zerbe:
This year, there is an unprecedented high number of administrative transfers in the Vancouver School district as a result of an unusually high number of retirements among Principals and Vice Principals. As part of this, I am being transferred to another school, Nootka Elementary, after 4 wonderful and memorable years at Laura Secord School. Transfers are very much a part of the “job” of being Principal: We come and we go every so many years. But I have never viewed my time at Secord as merely a job—I have become fondly attached to Secord School. I have come to work happy every day because of the pleasure and rewards in serving this community. The children are so lovely and joyful, the parents so supportive, and the staff so dedicated. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your community. I will genuinely miss you and will cherish the 4 years I have spent here.
As you’ll read below and in this month's school newsletter, we will be losing a number of staff members in June, and we do not yet know who our new staff members will be for the fall. To those coming in I say, “You are coming to a fabulous school and community. I know you’ll love it at Secord.”
Ernie Harwell said, “It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.” Hello to a new school next year. Hello to new teachers and to a new Principal. Your new Principal will be Ms Janis Myers and I have the utmost respect for and confidence in her. She is a skilled, experienced and French-speaking educator and Principal who brings so many strengths, abilities and positive qualities to Secord. You are very lucky to get her. I am certain you will welcome your new Principal--and the new teachers and staff--in the same warm way you welcomed me.
Staffing Updates and Good-byes
We wanted to let families know in advance of a number of teachers—some who have been with us for only a year or less, others or much longer--who will be leaving us at the end of June so you join us in thanking them and celebrating their contributions to our students and school.
A number of teachers have filled in for a short period at Secord. It may not have been a long time, but it’s sure been a good time for our students. Thank you so very much to Andy Chou (gr 6/7 French Immersion), Allan Fawley (Gr 1/2 English), Lisa Mitchell (Gr 6/7 English), Andrea Brown (Gr 3 French Immersion). The students in your classes are very fortunate to have had you as their teacher!
Yoon Ah Kim has been at Secord for 4 years, most recently serving as a French Immersion Resource and Reading Recovery teacher. It is Yoon Ah who you will always see with a huge smile on her face, leading kids to her centre—the smile on the kids’ faces usually even bigger in anticipation of getting to work with Mme Kim. We will miss your positive attitude and approach with children and wish you the very best in Ontario!
Anna Coulter is leaving Secord after 7 years as classroom French Immersion teacher and resource teacher. In both contexts, she quickly identifies each student’s needs and happily personalizes her teaching to best suit the child. All the best as you and your family settle down in Mission.
Brian Breslin is wrapping up a 25 year career as a teacher (he started as a Teacher-On-Call) and is retiring after 19 years at Secord. He fondly remembers all those teachers at Secord he worked with and thanks them for being so welcoming, supportive, friendly and inclusive when he started here. “I was the unknown new guy, but was treated as a valued colleague” and Brian has certainly become that himself.
His colleagues call him extremely generous and kind, deeply caring, and inspiring. His students call him generous, gifted, talented and wise. Our students have benefited not only from his excellence as a teacher but from the countless hours he spends voluntarily supporting extra-curricular sports for the students--Cross-Country, Volleyball, and Track & Field. Brian, himself, says, “Like classroom teaching, this was a fulfilling and rewarding endeavour.” About his teaching career he says, “I consider myself to be one of a privileged few who have had the opportunity to interact with children every working day. Words like 'career', even 'calling', do not adequately describe what it is to be a teacher. It can sometimes be equal parts exhausting and exhilarating, frustrating and inspiring, but it is always an achievement
about which you are proud at the end of the day. It is the good and right thing to be doing for those who choose to stay. Without trying, children endow us with an invaluable gift: we are 'nourished' by them.”
In his humble, unassuming nature, Mr. Breslin can retire happy in the knowledge that, as he once quoted Mark Twain, “It was easy so I dun it.” We don’t think so, Brian.
Please join us all in wishing Mr. Brian Breslin the very best for a long and happy retirement and many adventures in the future —the ones he gets to choose.
It's always tough when you have to say goodbye to so many wonderful staff members. A bittersweet time indeed, but we send to all staff leaving our very fond farewells.