Kelowna Secondary School principal Troy White was the recipient of a school leadership award presented last year for the Premier's Awards for Excellence in Education. (File photo)

Students, an inspiration for Central Okanagan school principals

Central Okanagan school board declares Principal and Vice-Principal Month for October

When Derek Lea looks for inspiration, he refers to a woodchip and a rock that sits on his dresser.

Both are symbols, given to him by students, of the role he plays as an educator to help young people mature into adults and find their way in the world.

“We are shaping the minds of kids today who will shape our world in the future,” Lea said.

Lea was one of four principals talking via zoom at the Central Okanagan Board of Education meeting on Oct. 15 in recognition of October being declared by local trustees as Principal and Vice-Principal Month in the Central Okanagan School District.

Lea, current principal of Okanagan-Mission Secondary who has held similar positions at Spring Valley Middle and A.S. Matheson Elementary, told two stories about where those sources of inspiration came from.

The first involved the woodchip and a young Matheson student who had been sitting by himself on the playground, sifting through the ground surface woodchips.

Lea approached the six-year-old boy and asked him what he was doing. The youth replied he was looking for the largest woodchip.

After spending a few minutes with him, Lea moved on with his school ground supervisory duties, leaving the youngster to carry on his quest.

Later that day, the boy showed up at the school office and presented Lea with the largest woodchip he could find, telling the principal he wanted him to have it.

The second story involved a student service project Lea was part of in Nicaragua, where Grade 12 students were building a rock wall for a school.

“One of the students came up to me after and gave me a piece of the rock we used, as a good reminder of how hard we all had worked and how the trip was our small way to make a positive difference in the world,” Lea recanted.

Scott Sieben, principal of Mount Boucherie Secondary, also spoke to the trustees, saying local principals face challenging jobs but feel positive about the “exceptional support” they receive from within the school district.

“We all feel and realize we are part of a team that helps set the groundwork for us to do the work we feel is valuable for our students,” Sieben said.

Michelle Relova, principal of Ellison Elementary, added schools play a leading role in the growth of students and the community they live in.

“I feel we help them to develop a sense of belonging which is very important today,” she said.

Ashley Ragoonaden, principal of Ecole KLO Middle School, said humour also plays an an important role in providing some levity to the learning experience of students.

National Principals’ Month is recognized across Canada in October to recognize and raise awareness about the vital role of principals in public schools and their communities.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan teachers push to cancel FSA testing

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Schools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
‘Do not occupy’ order lifted, residents of West Kelowna apartment allowed to return home

The building was evacuated early Sunday morning due to a strange smell

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter team was asked to be on standby to rescue a missing hiker in Naramata. (Air Rescue One/VSAR photo)
Lost hiker rescued in Okanagan Mountain Park

COSAR, PENSAR, and VSAR worked together to rescue a hiker in Okanagan Mountain Park

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

Size two avalanche on a cliff at Big White (Photo: Facebook/Big White Ski Resort)
‘Dangerous’ avalanche hits Big White Mountain

Big White Ski Resort is urging caution after a ‘size two’ avalanche on Sunday

Volunteers at the West Kelowna Salvation Army were celebrated with a special treat on Monday. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Central Okanagan community organizations celebrate volunteers

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and non-profits are highlighting the people who put in the work

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Increased COVID-19 activity brings vaccine clinic to Enderby

Registration opens Tuesday, April 20 for May clinic for anyone over the age of 18

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

courts
Penticton man guilty of assaulting young boys

Bryan Lamb was found guilty of two counts of assault

Abandoned Rail Brewing Company, located at 1220 Davenport Ave. on the KVR trail, has applied to the City of Penticton for a manufacturing facility and lounge endorsement. The city will review the application in their April 20, 2021 council meeting. (City of Penticton photo)
A new brewery could be coming to the KVR trail in the South Okanagan

The patio would seat up to 113 just 10 feet from the trail

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Most Read