Palliser recognizes retirees and staff achievement

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Corporate News

Retirees Eleanor and Harry Fritschy were among those recognized at Palliser Regional Schools banquet.

Eleanor Fritschy may have been destined for a career in education, but for husband Harry, the profession was anything but a lock.

The couple were among the retirees acknowledged Thursday at a Palliser Regional Schools banquet which also saw recognition for staff achievements over the past school year.

Harry capped off a 38-year career in education as principal at Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale. His first intuition was to remain in agriculture, given his farm roots, but he considered several options until he met Eleanor.

He accepted a temporary teaching offer from her father, a school principal, to cover a six-week medical leave and never looked back.

“I absolutely loved it,” Harry recalls of his introduction to the classroom. “I thought, ‘OK, this is what I want to do. I want to be a teacher.”

He changed his course of study at university, and after getting his degree began his teaching career at a small Christian school in Houston, B.C. in 1979. Harry spent 11 years there, the final few years in administration, then moved to Vancouver Island where he served as principal at a Christian high school in Duncan for a dozen years.

He and Eleanor moved to Calgary in 2002. Harry spent four years as principal at Calgary Christian Elementary School and then eight years in the same role at the high school. Coaxed out of retirement plans, Harry was principal at KAHS for the past three years.

There’s no doubt what Harry found most rewarding during his time in the classroom, working with children.  That  includes time spent with extra-curricular duties like coaching and field trips.

“There’s character development, mentoring, working with kids,” says Harry. “And those relationships you establish outside the classroom make the classroom work a lot better.”

As a principal his focus remained on what was best for the students, but shifted on how to provide the support and encouragement to help his teachers achieve that.

Eleanor, meanwhile, retires after a dozen years at Calgary Christian Elementary School.  She began her time there as a member of the resource team, and became librarian in 2009.

“My dad was an English teacher so we grew up with a love of books in our family and the importance of education,” she says. “Books were also for enjoyment and your personal growth, so they’ve always been a big part of our lives for our whole family.”

Eleanor finished at the end of December – they decided to stagger their retirement dates so both wouldn’t be going through that period of adjustment at the same time – and has been volunteering for a number of worthy causes since.

While she’s enjoying retirement, Eleanor says she’ll miss the camaraderie of working with a team towards a common goal. The biggest void, however, will be the students and the enthusiasm and spirit they brought every day.

“I miss seeing the growth of some students and the way that they become book lovers as well,” she says. “There are certain kids who struggle with reading, and then all of a sudden there is a certain genre of books that really clicks with them. “

Along with volunteering their time, Eleanor and Harry look forward to spending more time with their children and grandchildren.

The following Palliser retirees, listed in alphabetical order, were also recognized for their contributions at Thursday’s banquet:

Carol Ens (Jennie Emery Elementary School); Judy Epp (Menno Simons Christian School); Leo Gooch (Palliser Transportation Services); Susan Hill (Heritage Christian Academy); Darlene Hubber (Rock Lake Colony School); Hans Hulstein (Palliser Transportation Services); Kathy Jakober (Picture Butte High School); Sue Janzen (Kate Andrews High School); Pat Phillips (Dorothy Dalgliesh School) Paul Maryancik (Palliser Tech Services), Carol Wolsey (Palliser colony school); Laurie Wilson (Palliser Director of Learning).

The following Palliser staff members, listed in alphabetical order, were recognized for their achievements over this past school year:

  • Mohamed Bush (teacher, Calgary Islamic School OBK): nominee as Palliser’s representative for the 2017 Alberta School Boards Association Edwin Parr Award for top first-year teacher
  • Calgary Islamic School OBK instructors (Ghada Aziz, Ouassila Boucharif, Yasin Mohamed, Noha Oraby, Rasha Osman, Tulip Raslan): nominees for Noor Kids Islamic Teacher Appreciation Award.
  • Family School Liaison Counsellors team (Eric Burgess, Melinda Greenaway, Cindy Lerner, Terrilyne Leroux, Tamara Menzies, Lavonn Mutch, Blythe Provost, Kathy Roe, Kelly Schmaltz, Nicole Stafford, Dalayna Taverner, Lynnette Theroux, Laurie Wilson): Palliser Ambassador Award for 2016-17
  • Shelley Davis Forman (teacher, Arrowwood Community School): named Reading Champion by Scholastic Canada
  • Jordyn Garinger (teacher, Calgary Islamic School OBK): Palliser’s representatives for the 2017 ASBA Edwin Parr Award
  • Sheree Hartung (teacher, Jennie Emery Elementary School): nominee as Palliser’s representative for the 2017 Edwin Parr Award
  • Alison Hancox (Principal, Palliser Beyond Borders): named to Learning Partnership’s Canada’s Outstanding Principals program
  • Raiha Idrees (principal, Calgary Islamic School OBK): Council for School Leadership of the Alberta Teachers’ Association Distinguished Leadership Award
  • Julie Macklin (art teacher, colony schools): creator of a “Journey of Healing.”
  • Palliser Beyond Borders staff (Bruno Castelli, Jason Doerksen, Charlene Foster, Jacob Fraser, Alison Hancox, Keith Harrison, Stephanie Krammer, Ken Kroeker, Lola Mix, Jennifer Nieboer, Funmi Olubiyi, Elvira Pagsanghan, Lee Porath, Shila Provost, Katherine Pritchard, Caroline Schollaardt, Michael Shain, Kourtney Skipworth, Ben Swen, Steven Wornell): 2017 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Professional Development and Student Success
  • Kristen ter Steege (teacher, Keho Lake Colony School): nominee as Palliser’s representative for the 2017 Edwin Parr Award.