the highlight of each issue of Professionally Speaking continues
to be our series on remarkable teachers.
In my last column as Registrar, I want to thank the remarkable teachers
who contributed so much to my life. To me they represent everything that
is good about the profession of teaching.
I was blessed with teachers who welcomed me, encouraged me, motivated
me, challenged me, respected me and valued me. Because of them, I not
only loved going to school but loved the experience of being at school.
Looking back at my elementary school years at Seventh Street School in
the former Lakeshore board, I can only conclude that my teachers possessed
the patience of Job. Today, I would have been labelled; back then I was
simply a handful.
Yet, as challenging as I must have been, the teachers at Seventh Street
never gave up on me. Two stand out. In Grade 3, it was Lyla Crossley (it
seems so disrespectful to use her first name!). She had such a positive
effect on my early years. Her class was a magnificent journey filled to
the brim with marvellous learning experiences that have left me with only
the fondest of memories.
In Grade 8, it was Reg Mose who guided me tremendously when it came to
select the right path at a very important fork in the road of life. He
kept me focused when there were so many distractions of adolescence. Reg
went on to become Dean of the Faculty of Education at Brock University,
where he was a fine ambassador for the teaching profession.
My secondary school years were split between Thistletown and Kipling collegiates
in the former Etobicoke board. My teachers encouraged, coached and challenged
me both academically and interpersonally. At Thistletown, it was Nancy
Ferguson, Norm Purdie, Netti Malanchuk and Gerry McMartin. While their
calling was their subject areas, their strength was their ability to connect
with teenage students.
It was at Kipling that I experienced the most able group of teachers and
the finest principal. They were supportive, compassionate, demanding and
gave freely of their time not only to our academic pursuits but also to
our extracurricular lives.
Thank you to Margaret Black for inspiring me to be a better student, to
Gerry Glinski, Rae Gaouette and Barry Goss for introducing me to the joys
of drama, music and the stage, and to John Spence for so many athletic
My highest praise is for principal Clare Perry. To this day, I remember
him as an outstanding leader, a remarkable human being and a superb role
model for students and colleagues alike. It was Clare who convinced me
to pursue a teaching career.
While I experienced many capable and caring teachers during my university
studies and my teacher training, it was my elementary and secondary school
teachers who had the most profound effect on my life. They molded my character,
built the foundation for any academic success that I have enjoyed and
inspired me always to be a better person and a more productive citizen.
One of the great privileges of being Registrar is the opportunity to interact
with College members and students in our faculties of education. I hope
that all teachers will accept my sincere thanks for the opportunities
that I have experienced as a student, teacher, federation staff officer
and finally as Registrar of your College.
A great part of who I am, I owe to you. The rest I owe to caring parents,
including a mother who taught as a young woman, to a loving and supportive
wife who herself has enjoyed a successful career as a teacher and principal,
and to our three amazing youngsters, two of whom have also chosen teaching
as a career.
To one and all, thank you. You have been remarkable!