Sooke high school principal gets retirement surprise

Community members, students commemorate Pat Swinburson’s career

Various community members and students gave speeches to commemorate principal’s career

Staff and students at Edward Milne Community School had a special surprise for principal Pat Swinburnson, who retires on Friday.

At around 11 a.m. Swinburnson was called to the shop room in the school, where he was asked to “look at an issue” with construction on the classroom.

Meanwhile, the entire school body quietly tip-toed in to the gymnasium and awaited Swinburnson’s arrival.

Once everyone was ready, a voice suddenly came over the intercom; it was vice-principal Todd Powell asking for Swinburnson to report to the gymnasium.

When Swinburnson opened the doors to the gymnasium, he was surprised to find the entire staff and student population cheering and clapping for him.

At the surprise assembly, Powell, as well as Linda Bristol, a T’Souke elder, Janine Brooks, a former principal, Sooke School District superintendent assistant David Strange, and two students, Colby Benty and James Bruinsma, gave speeches to commemorate Swinburnson’s career.

Powell said he wanted to organize the assembly because Swinburnson has been such a great advocate and mentor for the school.

“He has created such an wonderful environment here. You walk through the halls and the energy is amazing and inclusive, and the kids are awesome,” Powell said.

“We now have a record number of senior academic classes, our trade students are going to competitions. We have all these things primarily because his (Swinburnson’s) focus at EMCS has been on relationship building, involvement and creating a sense of community.”

Powell added that Swinburnson has been a great supporter to him and was always willing to offer a helping hand.

“He’s very quiet and he’s very reserved, but he has directly impacted this school this district in an amazing way,” said Powell. “And he’s going to be incredibly, incredibly missed.”

Swinburnson was very thankful, and described the event as “lovely”.

“I have worked hard, and now it’s time to play hard,” He told the crowd.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

MLA Adam Olsen calls for ‘substantial’ changes in provincial economy

Green Party MLA also criticizes gap between government rhetoric and actions

Camosun tech students showcase new inventions and local business partnerships

A laser beam that can map a room, an automated pest deterrence system that uses AI, and more

500 pounds of turkey served at Cool Aid community Christmas dinner

Annual dinner serves hundreds of community members

VIDEO: Annual Tuba Christmas concert draws large crowd to Market Square

Over 100 tuba and euphonium players gathered to play festive tunes

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read