The pursuit of greater challenges has drawn me off to depart Stettler for more southern parts, but I would be remiss in leaving without taking a moment to say goodbye and thank you to the many wonderful friends and acquaintances that have made my 13 years in Stettler such a treasure. This is a great town full of great people who care about their community and work to make it better.
It’s a town of culture, as I know first hand. I must thank all the talented folks who I have had the good fortune to share the boards with, through the fine dramatic presentations of Wildcat Theatre and HATS. I smile with the memories of acting and directing with some of central Alberta’s finest, like the sheer brilliance of a Darren Fleischhacker and the untamed antics of a Gord Goodrich. I have had the remarkable joy to sing and play music with the talents that abound in the Cantus Choir, the Stettler Regional Band and, most dear to my musical heart, The Jazz Guys. Musical mentors like Gordon Moorlag and Eric Rahn have made me a better musician and human being.
It’s a town of great sports, as I have been involved in. Whether coaching the D-line of the Wildcats, refereeing the Cougars and Panthers, announcing for the annual minor hockey fundraiser Rebels game or helping out with any of the other sports activities in town, I’ve always found our parents to support our kids in sport to the strongest degree. I’m proud to have been associated with Stettler teams and will always be sporting my Wildcat tattoo and jacket for the world to see.
It’s a town of community service. From the many parents, students and community members in my beloved Botha, who have done so much for their school and community, to the often unheralded work of folks on town and county advisory committees, who make so much happen behind the scenes, I’ve always been struck by the “we can do it” attitude here.
Finally, it is a town of incredible educational opportunity. I say without qualification that one of my only regrets is that many of Stettler’s parents still don’t know what an amazingly world class educational program they have access to. I have been fortunate to represent our schools and school division provincially, nationally and internationally and I can affirm without question that I have taught with many of this province’s finest educators, both at William E. Hay High School and the mighty Botha School.
As for Botha School, regular readers of this publication should be familiar with the amazing story of that little school that could take on the world. In five short years, Botha School has become a school studied by four universities for the successes it has in student learning, student writing and literacy work. I must publicly thank all the staff, parents and students who make Botha the special school it is. They embody everything that is positive about rural Alberta life. They are the best, period. Anything I say further would be redundant.
I will miss you all.
All the best