Change at WCHS

 

When students returned to WCHS last week, they found that the school has a new principal and vice-principal.  Principal Audrey Looker and Vice-Principal Shawn Willmott came to WCHS from Pigeon Lake Regional School where they held the same positions.  The change was made because the former principal, Wayne Neilson, and the former vice-principal, Dennis Huebert, have retired after about forty years each in schools as teachers and administrators.
 
Reflections upon Retirement
 
 
WAYNE NEILSON came to WCHS as principal in 1986.  He came in mid-April so that he could meet the staff and work with them for a smooth transition.  For the last five months before his retirement he held the position of Associate Superintendent for Instruction for the division during a medical leave.  In between, every day was a new adventure in a place of high energy with a lot of positive fun and laughter.  He found that working with 15 to 19 year-olds provided lots of opportunities for funny moments, and sought to make the high school fun, enjoyable and relevant for the learning of all.
Neilson got his Bachelor of Education at the University of Lethbridge and taught at Brooks for five years before earning his Masters of Education at the University of Alberta.  From there he went to Fort McMurray where he was in a Kindergarten to Grade Nine school for three years, then was principal for five or six years at the Fort McMurray Composite High School with 1800 students.  
When Neilson came to Wetaskiwin, he planned to stay for five or six years, but the community, the friends, the school with its staff, kids and challenges all combined to keep him here.  He finds it hard to say enough about Wetaskiwin, about how wonderful on all levels his career here has been, about the great kids we have here in Wetaskiwin, about the exemplary staff in WCHS, both the teachers and in the office, about the great support from parents.  He considers life all about relationships: colleagues, kids, family, community.
Early in his career in teaching, he heard two sayings which have been key to his career. 
“Good, better, best,
Never let it rest
Until the good is better,
And the better, best.”
“All it takes for evil to overtake the world is for good men to do nothing.”
Consequently, he has spent his career making good things better and then better things the best they can be.  He has kept trying to be better tomorrow than today and to apply that to himself, the staff, the school and the kids.  He has searched out what motivates people and to make actions follow words with special consideration of those two sayings.  Rather than spending too much time on the kids making poor choices, he has concentrated  on surrounding all the kids with good people so that good things happen.  In this regard, he considers the teaching and office staff an exemplary and powerful crew to make good things happen.  For him, it has been all about relationships with kids, parents, staff.  To him, finding solutions is intriguing, every day has been fresh and interesting, and he has had a good, wild ride.
Retiring is about giving time now to his wife and family.  Neilson says that he could not have accomplished what he has without the support of his wife, Carol, who also made his career relocations possible.  They have two children, both teachers married to teachers.  Their son is a vice-principal in Edmonton, and their daughter is in Lethbridge.  Soon there will be four grandchildren.  He doesn't know what retirement will look like, but considers it a new adventure.  He expects it will include sports golf, motorcycle rides with Dennis Huebert, coaching the community girls basketball team as he did last year, teaching stained glass again, among a variety of activities.
For Wayne Neilson, retirement really starts now when he would otherwise have been back at the school.  May the adventure be long, interesting and full of the finest of relationships.
 
 
 
DENNIS HUEBERT also retired after 39 years at WCHS as business teacher, department head , vice-principal, and a final five months as principal.  When he came in 1973, the Business Ed. Department still taught accounting, typing, office practice, business machines etc.  The school was starting to use electric typewriters, and the copying was done on spirit duplicators or the gestetner.  Today everything is about computers.  Students can instantly get answers on computers, and a great need is instruction and direction in recognizing the validity and quality of the information on the computer.  Today the school could not carry on without computers, even to recording attendance.  Technology has become a powerful teaching aid, with smart boards opening up all kinds of doors for teachers and students.  He has found the change exciting and challenging.
Huebert says that every day in his 40 years of teaching he woke up and looked forward to working with his students and colleagues.  He considers it a privilege every day to do a job he really liked, a blessing to work in the area of his enjoyment and passion.  He appreciates that, in taking a fifth year of university after his B.Ed., he had the luxury of picking courses, some at the graduate level, which were interesting and helpful in the classroom.  He also appreciates the great people he has worked with, the teachers, other staff, administration, great bosses.  He found that Wayne Neilson made work fun.
Huebert considers English and Mathematics still the most important areas for students to master.  Computers make reading and English skills more important than ever, and students who can read, write and communicate well have an advantage.  To lack those skills is a disadvantage.  He himself loves to read.
Retirement for Dennis Huebert also looks at more time with his wife and family.  His son lives at Campbell River on Vancouver Island, while his two daughters live in Edmonton and St. Albert.  The first grandchild is in Edmonton.  He and his wife love to travel, she to explore history through the museums etc., and he to see how people live in other areas of the world.  May he, too, have a long, interesting retirement rich with great relationships.
More Stories:
  • City Of Leduc Pushes For RCMP To Ensure Funded Positions Remain Staffed The City of Leduc wants the positions they’ve paid for filled with police officers. At the Jan. 12 council meeting, councilors decided to submit a resolution supporting the Federation of Canadian Municipalities own resolution ...
  • Black Gold Quilt Patch Guild Presented With Plaque Submitted by June Aponiuk, Secretary Black Gold Quilt Patch Guild,  Leduc, AB       As with many quilt guilds, we are happy to provide quilts where there is a need. In our case, the majority of quilts are given to the Children’s ...
  • Telford Place Continues To Grow When 29-year-old Robert Telford decided to put down roots along a creek just west of a lake, he was aware of the plans of a railroad coming through the area as tracks were being laid just south of his location. It is doubtful ...
  • Kicking Horse Industrial Park A meeting was held in Millet on Wednesday evening, January 14, 2015 at the Millet Agriplex to notify and field questions from tax ratepayers and interested parties in conjunction with the newest industrial park in Central ...
  • Millet Curling Club Holds Sturling     The Millet Curling Club held a Sturling with 16 teams participating on January 16 and 17. The next Sturling is scheduled for March 6 & 7. If you would like to register or receive more information on the upcoming event ...
  • Pink T-Shirt Day Gearing Up     Up until 2011, males would not be caught dead wearing pink as it was a noted symbol of femininity. That has changed. Today it is common to see even the extreme ‘jocks’ like hockey players and cowboys flexing their muscles ...
  • City Of Leduc Growing Younger Leduc’s 2014 census report was released last week and it shows a 4.9 per increase in population, down slightly from the 6.9 per cent the previous year. However, it showed an increase in the number of people between 20 and ...
  • Waterworks Theatre Presents Another Entertaining Evening Wetaskiwin Waterworks Theatre Director Edlon Roth invites the residents of Wetaskiwin and surrounding region to an evening of fun and laughter with the production of ‘Fishing for Frank’. “The production is a display of close ...
  • WCHS Awards For Excellent Students Wetaskiwin Composite High School students have the opportunity to earn a wide range of awards and scholarships from a variety of sources including the Province and the community. Each year there is one student who stands ...
  • Rosebrier 4H Beef Club Happy New Year to everyone. We have been busy the last while. Back in November we were able to work together as a club and make up 61 Operation Christmas Shoe Boxes. It sure felt good to be able to help others. Coming up ...
  • Leduc Food Bank Benefits From DPA Steve Greene (food bank board member) holds a cheque with Laura Tillack on the left (Downtown Progress Association (DPA) coordinator) & Debbie Charanduk on the right (DPA chair) for the Santa Claus Parade after party and ...
  • Annual Millet School Christmas Giving ProjectIsabel Millet School’s 14th Annual Christmas Giving project was another huge success! This year we were happy to support the local Millet Food Bank. The Grade Four students were excellent PAX leaders as they helped to organize this ...
  • Rollyview 4-H Dairy Club Report We had our organizational meeting on Thurs., Oct. 16th at Fred & Melissa Hofstra’s. We have 10 members in our club. At the meeting we had the following elections: President – Chance Hofstra Vice President – Tyson Rietveld ...
  • Monster Sham Eating Contest How many Shamrock Burgers can you eat in 10 minutes? That’s the question the new franchise operators are asking Leduc and area residents when they host the first western Canadian Monster Sham Eating Contest next month. Shamrock ...
  • Millet Girl Makes Dean Submitted by Mohawk Valley Community College, Office of Marketing and Communications Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) located in Utica, N.Y. has announced the appointment of Kathleen Linaker, D.C., Ph.D. as the dean ...
  • Leduc Library Comes Of Age In February the Leduc Library will open its doors in a brand new facility designed to meet the needs for patrons in the 21st Century. The library has come a long way from the days in the late 1890’s when a schoolteacher used ...
  • Truck Club Rallies To Support Local Family Facing Tragedy The message posted January 10th, 2015 on Tim Monteith’s Facebook page read, “Well today’s the day ladies and gents. A reminder still trying to collect donations for Margaret’s family. We will be set up at the mall across ...
  • My 2014 In Review For me, 2014 has been a year of positive changes, learning opportunities, Canadian travels, great outdoor adventures and of course precious times with family and friends. After two and a half years of reporting and writing ...
  • LDESA: A Hand Up In Leduc Region To many in the western world, Christmas time means honouring Christian traditions, family and friendly gatherings, plentiful foods and generous gifts. To many, but not to all. Some families and individuals in our society ...
  • Leduc Beef Club December Report December was a good month for the Leduc 4-H Club and we kicked it off with our Christmas party, which was held on December 7th. Our Christmas party was held at Cloverlawn Hall and it was a day filled with activities and workshops. ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia