Staples Tolmie Avenue store general manager Don Routeliffe

GREAT TEACHERS: Teaching trio feted at campaign finale

Great Teachers spotlights excellent educators in Greater Victoria

Looking around at those gathered to pay tribute to family, friends and colleagues, it was easy to tell we had three special people on our hands.

The smiles were wide and some tears were shed as the crowd heard snippets of stories submitted by current and former students, as well as parents, who nominated Jamie Davis, Andrea Blair and Marilyn Hodgson for awards in the inaugural Black Press/Staples Great Teachers campaign.

The comments, shared during a celebration of the trio’s achievements held at Staples’ Tolmie Avenue store,  helped paint a vivid picture of the level of devotion these three consummate professionals bring to their work on a daily basis in their schools.

Some examples:

“… I can truly say she will be one of the few teachers that will leave a forever lasting impression on both of my children …” (Hodgson)

“… The time and effort she has put in to make music an option for my son is just incredible …” (Blair)

“… He is the reason that I got into music in the first place, and the reason I am becoming a music teacher …” (Davis)

For the celebration, Blair, music director at Gordon Head middle school, was boosted by the presence of her mother, who flew in from northern Alberta to be there. Also on hand was a dyslexic band student for whom she designed a special colour-cued music reading system.

Elementary honouree Hodgson, whose 35-year teaching career comes to a close this year, had raced in from a retirement party for herself and a few other colleagues at ´Kelset elementary in North Saanich, some of whom joined Hodgson and her family.

Supporters also heard how secondary honouree Davis, just 30, had almost singlehandedly resurrected the music program at Spectrum Community School.

The stories of the three teachers were spread further through our friends at CTV Vancouver Island, who were on hand to record the special moments.

Getting to this stage has been a wonderful journey for those of us at Black Press who had the opportunity to tell community members’ stories about Great Teachers past and present, and ask current and former students what makes a teacher great.

The nomination letters, submitted online by Black Press community media readers at vicnews.com over a six-week span, presented our panel of community judges with a tough job in determining their selections for the three grade categories.

Judging by the submissions, it’s clear all of the nominated teachers are worthy of recognition and have made an impact on their students.

In celebrating all of the nominees through the following Great Teachers publication, we’d like to thank Staples and fellow sponsor Thrifty Foods for recognizing the value of teachers’ work and helping us create this celebration of educational excellence in Greater Victoria’s communities.

Related stories in this series:

Previous stories in this series:

Special teachers make a difference around Greater Victoria

GREAT TEACHERS PT. 2: Parents appreciate excellence in teaching

GREAT TEACHERS PART 3: Community leaders share their favourite teacher stories

GREAT TEACHERS PART 4: Teaching evolves through technology, flexible approach

GREAT TEACHERS PART 5: Great teachers have an impact: students

GREAT TEACHERS PT. 6: What do you think makes a great teacher?

GREAT TEACHERS PT. 7: Nominations show high esteem for educators

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

Just Posted

Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

District working to ensure restaurants can make the most of summer weather, mayor says

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

Chilliwack school board censures trustee Barry Neufeld after controversial Facebook post

Board chair issues statement on censure but little else regarding Facebook post controversy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

Most Read