November 24, 2015
Dear Students, Parents, and Guardians,
Those of you who were at Trafalgar when I arrived in 2009 may remember I announced then that this would very likely be my last school. Already in those early weeks, having found what felt to be the perfect school community, I knew I would never want to work anywhere else.
Vancouver school principals are usually transferred after approximately five years in a school, so I feel very fortunate to have been able to stay this long. Six plus years later, though, in addition to an ever-deepening appreciation of this community and a true love for my role in it, I realize the time has come to pursue new goals in life.
It is therefore with mixed emotions that I inform you that I will be leaving my position of principal at Trafalgar Elementary at the end of December.
Although the official reason for my departure is retirement, on January 4 when all of you return, I will be back at UBC where I began my teaching career in the French Department nearly forty years ago, but this time as a part-time student of Italian. I also plan to be much more active in my cross-country and hiking clubs, to learn to play piano as well as the average Grade 2 performer at the school Talent Show, to volunteer in school settings, and – as most people do at this point in their lives -- take advantage of some off-season travel deals.
Anticipating the likelihood of my resignation for some months, the Senior Management Team of the Vancouver School Board had ample time to consider our school’s needs before finalizing decisions on my replacement. At last night’s Board meeting, trustees approved the appointment of Mme Jacqueline Lavoie, the current principal of Lord Tennyson Elementary, a colleague for whom I have the greatest respect. A former teacher and Vice-Principal at Trafalgar, Mme Lavoie is very familiar with our school and is very excited to be returning to this community.
For those of you who question the viability of mid-year changes, please know that January is the ideal time for a principal to come into a school, for it gives the new person time to understand the school’s strengths and needs before needing to make major decisions in the spring. Mme Lavoie and I will also have time over the holidays – and if needed in early January – to ensure a seamless transition, and of course our Vice-Principal, Ms. Kramer, will be here to support her in the New Year.
Given how busy the weeks leading up to the Winter Break are under normal circumstances, I have asked the staff to postpone the official goodbye to early January. Plans are coming together for two events on Wednesday, January 13: a daytime assembly for the students and an evening event/celebration for adults. More information will follow.
At those events, I will try to find words to express my appreciation to this school community for a wonderful six and a half years of my life. In the meantime, however, I would like to ask that we all tuck away thoughts of endings until my official departure approaches and allow me to be fully present in my role until December 18.
Adele Tremblay, Principal