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

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

PHOTOS: Uptown lights up the holiday season

Annual event drew crowd of all ages for parade and Christmas tree lighting

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Mommy’s Inside Voice: A little piece of you

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a biweekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read