Superstar Stoelting Serves David Thompson With a Smile

Damon Stoelting has made a world of difference for many students at David Thompson Secondary. An educator who has mandated excellence, Stoelting has been recognized by his colleagues for his commitment to his students in and out of the classroom. Stoelting's genuine connection with his students has led him to devote his time as a sponsor of two extra-curricular groups: CHAT (Challenging Homophobia at David Thomson), which supports anti-bullying and the LGBTQ community as well as the David Thompson Service Club.

Stoelting has co-sponsored CHAT for the past four years. As a co-sponsor, his role is to support a group of organized and dedicated students to fight against discrimination in school. This commitment has led to CHAT events such as a trans-fashion show, rainbow week campaign, and the wall against bullying.

"It's rewarding to see the students' character on display. It's great to know that there are young people who want to make our school a safer place, not just for students who identify as LGBTQ, but for all students," says Stoelting.

The Service Club is another project that Stoelting lends a considerable amount of time. Currently the club boats over 150 members. Stoelting is responsible for organizing students and events as well as tracking students' service hours. In the past the club has supported in-school events such as parent teacher conferences, immunization clinics, professional conferences and school dances. Stoelting says that it is a rewarding experience and that he is honored to work with the kids.

VSB District Principal John Dawson has worked with Stoelting for seven years and can attest to how the teacher pushes for better practices for his students.

"I would walk into the class and see how well he was connecting with the students," says Dawson.

Dawson also recalls Stoelting chaperoning a Geography 12 fieldtrip where students who had never left Vancouver had the opportunity to travel through BC and Alberta, visiting locations such as old BC coal mines and Drumheller in Alberta.

Outside of his professional life, Stoelting has a family, and is working towards his M.Ed. in Educational Practice. He says his work with CHAT has been instrumental in reinforcing his personal learning as the focus of his program is teacher inquiry and how to support inclusion in schools.

"My favorite part about being a teacher is watching students cross the stage at the end of their Grade 12 year. We teach some truly wonderful students here at David Thompson. Watching them during the ceremony gives me a great feeling of satisfaction," says Stoelting.

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