Skip to main content

School History

School History

Vancouver Technical School had its humble start in the basement of King Edward High School on 12th and Oak in September 1916. Under the leadership of J. George Lister, later described as the "Founder of Technical Education in B.C.", the school moved to more spacious quarters in the Labour Temple located on the corner of Homer and Dunsmuir. It was strictly a boys school and was known for its "no nonsense" approach to learning.

As the enrollment continued to grow, plans were drawn for the construction of a large modern Technical School to be built on a site at Broadway and Clinton (presently Penticton Street). Van Tech opened at its current location in 1928. The facility was to include large technical shops, laboratories, cafeteria, auditorium, gymnasium and swimming pool. The excavation for the latter is still below the floor of the Activity Room but the pool was never completed because of lack of funds.

An event of great significance took place in September 1940. Girls were at last admitted to Tech! They were given their own wing on the east side of the complex. Even today the area is nostalgically called the "The Girls Building".

As the reputation of Van Tech spread, enrollment continued to climb leading to the construction of two major additions in 1954. An East wing to the main building together with a double gymnasium and teaching cafeteria were added.  Further, in 2008 a seismic upgrade was completed.

At present, Van Tech is one of the largest secondary schools in Vancouver. An administration of one Principal, two Vice-Principals, a teaching staff of approximately 100, secretarial, support staff and a custodial staff serve the needs of approximately 1600 students. In spite of its technical origin, Van Tech is now a completely comprehensive secondary school with strong academic and enrichment programs, together with highly successful elective area in Art, Music, Business Education, Technical Studies, Home Economics, Modern Languages, Physical Education and a successful Athletic Program.   The school is home to a number of District programs: French Immersion, Summit, Flex Humanities and Special Education.

The staff is justly proud of the fine traditions associated with Tech. Its graduates will be gratified to know that the present staff and administration are continuing to work hard to maintain the high standards established over the years.

Roster for the History of Van Tech Principals

Mr. J. George Lister 1916-1930
Mr. James Sinclair 1930-1944
Mr. Edward White 1944-1960 
Mr. William Franklin 1960-1967 
Mr. Cy Nixon 1967-1974 
Mr. Bob Dowding 1974-1976 
Mr. Dave Renwick 1976-1982 
Mr. Norm Ornes 1982-1990 
Mrs. Katherine Strike 1990-1994 
Mr. Pat Mitchell 1995-1999 
Mr. Ken Annadale 1999-2002 
Mr. Dave Derpak 2002-2010
Mrs. Brenda Burroughs 2010-2012
Ms. Beverley Seed 2012-2015
Ms. Annette Vey-Chilton 2015-2019

Mr. Roberto Moro 2019-

Back to top