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District staff honour retirees

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After two years of limited to no gatherings, District staff were pleased to gather to honour and celebrate the many retirees who devoted their careers to public education at the Vancouver School District.

On November 10 and November 17, two retirement receptions were hosted at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club to recognize staff who retired from September 2019 to August 2020 and September 2020 to August 2021. Both events saw retired teachers, custodians, supervision aides, student support workers, office administrative assistants, youth and family workers, and many others honoured for their service to the public education system. 

The reception on November 10 began with a warm welcome from superintendent, Helen McGregor who shared words of appreciation and gratitude for each of the retirees. “Dedicated staff make positive impacts,” says Helen McGregor, superintendent of schools. “As you continue your journeys, we hope you always remember that your professional legacies continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of students, school communities and your colleagues,” she adds. 

After special remarks from District staff, a musical performance from Magee Secondary’s chamber choir entertained the audience. Students sang several beautiful songs which lifted the room – especially when students gave yellow roses to each retiree. Trustee Fraser also shared greetings on behalf of the Board.  

The reception on November 17 was just as memorable. With deep gratitude and pride in their hard work, a few retires shared some memorable moments in their careers and words of wisdom. 

Retiree Art Steinman worked at the District for 15 years as the manager of the Supporting and Connecting Youth (SACY) program and says a career working with youth is extremely rewarding. 

“If someone is interested in a career path in education, I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than working with young people,” he says. “From my perspective, you are shaping young lives at key times in their development, and the impact you make will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” he adds. 

Jennifer Cook who worked at the District for 33 years concluding her career as the manager of food and nutritional services said she felt truly recognized and valued. “It was my privilege to serve the children of Vancouver and my honour to be here tonight as well as to be so well-received at the reception,” she says. 

Everyone at the District wishes all retired staff a fulfilling retirement in their journeys ahead. On behalf of students, families and staff – thank you for your expertise, care and dedication to public education in Vancouver!

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