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

Pair killed in Bamfield bus crash were 18-year-old UVic students

The victims were a young woman from Manitoba and and a young man from the U.S.

Historic Oak Bay carriage house to be restored as rental property

New owner found for Annandale carriage house

CUPE 441 applies for mediation in SD63 school dispute

Members paid less than counterparts in other districts, says CUPE 441 president

Victoria program inspires Polish student to create cigarette butt calculator

Warsaw civil engineering student creates cleanup counter to track efforts

Artistic mystery baffles Sidney

The salmon mosaic appears on a local planter near the bandshell in Beacon Park

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Most Read