Ahhh, mid-September. A time for Westwood families to enjoy a deep, relaxing sigh as our homes return to some semblance of normalcy. Parents, kids, schools and teachers are settling back into routine.
However, as most of us mentally pack away memories of our summer adventures, one Westwood educator is settling into an extended holiday. After some 30 years teaching in St. James-Assiniboia, Virginia Robertson has retired.
A wife and mother of four living in Westwood for the past several decades, Mrs. Robertson (as she was known to her students) was an elementary teacher for St. James School Division for six years before taking time off to raise her kids.
When her brood reached pre-school age, Robertson became an active parent volunteer with Kirkfield-Westwood Nursery School at the K-W Community Centre, serving as registration director and substitute teacher, among other things. When a position opened up, Robertson then embraced her role as teacher at the nursery school, happily guiding the hands and minds of Westwood tots for 24 years.
Robertson says the decision to retire was bittersweet. On one hand, she will miss the smiling faces of children and parents as well as the continuous adventure that is the nursery school environment. On the other hand, she is looking forward to having more time for her family; her children are now successful members of the community (a chartered accountant, a mechanical engineer, a teacher and a dentist).
Robertson says she is looking forward to spending time with her grandkids, spending time at the cottage and doing some traveling.
Since Robertson didn’t want a formal event, the nursery school board of directors instead created a commemorative space in her honour. An amur maple tree planted near the entrance of the K-W Community Centre near the big rock, is a hardy flowering variety. It will grow, blossom and change with the seasons just as her many students did year after year. The rock itself, a popular spot among clambering nursery schoolers, is symbolic of Robertson’s steadfast and enduring presence in the lives of her student families. An especially touching tribute was given in the form of a book of memories — a collection of emails, pictures and shared sentiments from families past and present.
By all accounts, Robertson has influenced many lives within Westwood. May we all be inspired by her example.
Congratulations Mrs. Robertson, happy retirement.
Sharon Pfeifer is a community correspondent for Westwood. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.