Longtime Edson Principal Betty Churchill is set to retire.
Visitors to Vanier Community Catholic School and Holy Redeemer High had become used to seeing Mrs. Churchill’s welcoming smile and wonderful personality, but all good things must come to an end.
“It’s time,” says Churchill who remarks that she has loved every minute of 33 year teaching career that will end on June 30th. “I am going to miss my colleagues and the wonderful students and families that I encountered every day.”
Churchill began her teaching career in 1990 at her alma mater, Holy Trinity High School in Torbay, NF. “I moved to Alberta in 1991 and began teaching in Cadotte Lake, a place I loved for five years,” she says. In 1996, she moved to Edson where she accepted a teaching and counselling position at Vanier. Edson soon turned into her permanent home and in 2000 she was asked to be the Vice-Principal of Vanier. It seemed the role of administrator was her calling as he took the position of Principal at Vanier in 2009, and then transferred to Holy Redeemer in 2019. And in a few days, her teaching career will come to and end.
One can imagine that being the Principal of a junior and senior high school is an extremely busy job, which it is, so when Churchill was asked what she will be doing to fill her time during retirement she said, “My plans are wide open. I would like to stay connected to both of my favourite schools through substitute teaching and volunteering.” Outside of school, Churchill has plans to spend time with her family and friends through travelling and outdoor activities. “Not to mention just getting back to the balance of life. “I plan to read all of the books I have accumulated, and didn’t have to read over the years.” Plus she looks forward to spending some well deserved time with her husband, hunting, fishing and enjoying their new grandbaby in November.
As she looks back at her time at Vanier and HRH and the many memories she has made, there is one in particular that stands out. “One of my fondest memories was having the pleasure of presenting grade 12 graduation certificates to four very special students who were in my care from age 3 (PALS program) at Vanier to 18 (Beyond the Classroom) at HRH. I will never forget that day and the pride I felt.”
Next year, HRH will welcome a new Principal in Sandy Whitten. When Churchill was asked if she had any advice for her successor, she said, “Relationships! Relationships! Relationships! They lead to a culture of commitment, excellence and respect where all students learn, develop and grow. Start from day one and let it take you where it may.”
And now, the school says goodbye to Mrs. Churchill, and wishes her well in her retirement. “I am going to miss the fun, laughs, and robust culture of activity that made my job so interesting all the time.”
Take care, Mrs. Churchill. Enjoy your retirement. You deserve it.