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Dynamic duo departing D. Mac
Time is right, says pair with 80 years combined experience
Daniel McIntyre Collegiate will lose more than just a class of graduating students later this month— it also will lose nearly 80 years of administrative experience.
Principal Gilles Beaumont and vice-principal Olga Zaporzan plan to retire at the end of the current 2011-12 school year.
"I came into the division quietly and I would like to go out that way," Zaporzan said last week.
It’s a sentiment shared by Beaumont. He and his vice-principal have been discussing the possibility of retiring for the past two years.
"We wanted to make sure the timing was right, especially for the school. It is right and now it’s time to silently slide out," he said.
Beaumont has worked in the education field for 42 years. He got his start in the town of Cartwright in 1971, where he taught every grade at the local school. At the time, Cartwright had a total population of 400. Daniel McIntyre’s current student population is 1,350.
"It was a great place to learn to teach. You had to do everything," he said.
By 1974, Beaumont had moved to St. Vital. Ten years ago, while he was working in River Heights, he decided it was time for a change and made the move to Daniel Mac.
"It was then I found this hidden jewel of the West End. It is the safest place I have ever worked," he said.
For Zaporzan, coming to Daniel Mac in 2001 was a homecoming, having graduated from the school in the late 1960s. She remembers how the neighbourhood was filled with European newcomers at the time and is pleased to see the high school is once again attracting new Canadians from around the world.
Beaumont said he has accumulated a wealth of memories during his 42 years as an educator.
"Human nature gives us everything — all the good and the bad," he said. "You could not invent the stuff that happens over a career. If we wrote a book, it would be put in the fiction section because no one would believe it."
Beaumont said one thing which hasn’t changed over the years is the value of maintaining healthy relationships with students.
"At the end of the day, relationships with students don’t change. We all remember the teachers than meant things to us — and those things never change. We are purveyors of hope," Beaumont said.
Zaporzan said connecting with students is something she continues to enjoy.
"As we’re on our way through the parking lot, students wish us a good night and that puts a smile on my face," she says.
Beaumont said there is no question about whether or not he will miss students and staff at the school.
"Daniel Mac was the best gig I ever had."
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(1 of 16 articles for this week)05/15/2013 1:00 AM 0
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