Sad to Leave Westpark

This past weekend was a bittersweet one for me.  I loved watching the high school drama students put on an excellent performance at the dessert theatre on Friday night.  That reflected a lot of work by Ms. Pinard, the students, and all of the people working behind the scenes.  It was nice to see such a large turnout as well, as many people showed their support by attending the event.  Hopefully, that positive momentum will continue.

It was “Westpark Weekend” at Portage Alliance Church, and the service on Sunday was very powerful.  The choir was outstanding, and the songs were very moving.  Mr. Stoesz and his class put together an awesome powerpoint of some of the highlights from this year at school.  I was very proud of our school, and what we stand for.  It is so great to be a part of a school where following Christ is unabashedly our primarily focus.  I found myself getting pretty choked up during the service because this year at Westpark is going to be my last, at least for a while.

Some of you may have heard this news already, and I want you to know that both my wife and I love Westpark School and what it stands for.  We are grateful for the years that we have been able to work here (and for my wife, the years that she was able to attend as a student as well).  I have many fond memories of fun classes, Bible discussions, volleyball games from my years of coaching, chapels, and more importantly, the great staff, students, and parents that I had the privilege of working with over my seven year tenure here.  I love hearing stories about how my former students are making wise choices in their lives, and how they are choosing to honour God.  That’s what it’s all about.   I have always viewed teaching as an opportunity to teach students not just about academics, but about life.  I still get a rush when a student catches on to a math concept for the first time, or is fascinated by a science demonstration, but when students take to heart the lessons about following Christ, that gets me the most excited.

One thing that became very clear to my wife and me as this year progressed was that if there was any way for us to make it work for my wife to be at home with our son for the next few years, we should do it.  The position that I have accepted in the Prairie Spirit School Division will allow that to happen.  There is also potential for me to work even closer to our home in the not too distant future.  It remains to be seen what sort of benefits there might be for Westpark to have staff in other nearby divisions who genuinely care about Westpark.  While I am sad to leave Westpark School, I am excited for a new challenge and new opportunities to serve God in a different environment.  We had no desire to leave this church or to move, and we will not have to do either.  So if the Bombers ever happen to beat the Riders again, you can still hassle me in church.

Thank you for your support.  One thing that has really stood out to me over my time at Westpark is how appreciative the students and parents have been.  Thank you for the encouragement that you have sent my way.  I have learned a lot from you, and you have built into me.

I am looking forward to the last month of school here.  I have never been on a short term mission trip before, so I am sure that it will be a great experience to go on the Thunder Bay trip with some of the high school students in a couple weeks.  I want to soak in the remaining time that I have here, and enjoy every last minute of it.

I am excited about the direction that Westpark School is headed.  Under Miss Parrott’s leadership, we have started to chart a bit of a different course.  There have been some things done this year (like the leadership structure) that have been unprecedented, and they have worked out very well.    I think that the future looks bright for the school, and I am looking forward to seeing what God will do through the school in the years to come.

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