As the school year draws to a close we would like to recognize and thank our dedicated teachers who will be retiring at the end of the school year!
Sue Bennett graduated from the University of Alberta in 1980 with an ECS diploma and a degree in education. After subbing for a number of years she started teaching Kindergarten in 1993 at CES and has been there ever since.
She says, "I can honestly say that everything important I know I learned in kindergarten. I have truly enjoyed teaching 5 year olds and I haven't had a day at school where there hasn't been something to laugh about. It has been a pleasure! I will really miss the children and the people I work with." Happy retirement, Mrs. Bennett! You will be missed!
Mark Bennett received his Bachelor of Science Education from U of A and his Masters in Education from BYU. He began his teaching career in Cardston at CJHS teaching science. He coached girls volleyball for a number of years both at CJHS and at CHS. In 1995, he became the principal of Del Bonita school and then principal of the Alternate School when it first opened in 1997. He then returned to CJHS as vice principal. He has been at CES as vice principal and then principal for the past 10 years.
Mr. Bennett says "I have loved working with kids and I know you can do so much more when you develop trusting relationships with students, staff and administrators. I have been surrounded by wonderful, caring staff that are dedicated to the profession. I have seen tremendous change over the years that has been both challenging and rewarding. Would I do it again if given the chance – absolutely!" Happy retirement, Mr. Bennett!
Mr. Cahoon began his career in 1984 teaching band and social studies in Sherwood Park and finished his career teaching in Cardston for the past 10 years.
Mr. Cahoon says "The main highlight in my career was getting to know so many talented, bright, dedicated and caring students who shared a passion for music as I did. Getting to know the parents who supported their children and encouraged them to play an instrument and worked to support fundraisers, concerts and tours was also a highlight of my career." Happy retirement, Mr. Cahoon!
Dixie's first teaching job was in a one room school at the Palmer Ranch. She spent the rest of her career at the Hill Spring School. Dixie's experience in multi-grade classrooms led to a focus on differentiated instruction. She felt a strong desire to help each child as an individual, and she honed this desire into skills that led to successes for many young children. She taught her students to never give up, and set that example by completing her Masters in 2008. Dixie has been a valued fixture in the Hill Spring School community and her contributions will be remembered in gratitude for many years to come. Dixie says, "love for children and deep desire for their success was a constant source of motivation to improve my teaching skills." Happy Retirement Dixie!
After completing a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Lethbridge in 1985, Spencer worked at Northside Elementary. He was offered a position teaching grade 6 at RJHS a short time later. Spencer taught grades six, seven, eight and nine at RJHS and also completed his Masters program during that time. About his time at RJHS, Spencer says "I enjoyed many great years with an ever changing staff and two terrific administration teams. I had many great experiences coaching spelling bee, basketball and advising the student union. I loved the association with students, parents and staff during this time and still consider many of them as lifelong friends and colleagues." Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Depew!
At age thirty Ron decided he wanted to further his education and applied to the University of Lethbridge mature student program. Four years later, in 1986, Ron graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree and was hired to teach at the Cardston Junior High School. Ron jokes that Westwind had no choice but to hire him as they did not want to lose their new CES music teacher, who he married that summer (Mrs. Leslie Dittmann, also retiring this year).
Mr Dittmann says, "CJHS is the only school I taught at. I will always care about the teachers and students of CJHS. It was my second home for over thirty years. Thank you to the thousands of students who had such a great impact on my life. I love each and everyone of you."
Happy retirement, Ron! You will be truly missed.
Rick received his Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Alberta and his EdD from the University of Phoenix. He started coaching football during his first year of university and has coached at least one football team at some level throughout his time in education. Rick worked as the principal at Grand Prairie Composite High School and as the District Principal for Grand Prairie Public School Division before joining the Westwind team as Assistant Superintendent in 2013. He is grateful for his time at Westwind and says "my life, and I believe the life of my family, has been richly blessed throughout the journey." We wish to thank Dr. Gilson for his dedication and service to Westwind. We look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role with the SAPDC.
Lynda graduated from BYU in April 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education. After graduation, she and her husband Arnold moved to Edmonton where she taught continuing education classes in sewing and substituted in the schools. In 1983 they moved to Cardston where Lynda taught preschool, continuing education and substituted for 20 years. In 2000 she accepted a half time teaching position in Home Ec. at the Cardston Jr. High. She have enjoyed this opportunity to teach student skills they may not have had an opportunity to learn otherwise. She is looking forward to the future, where her days will be filled with quilting, travel, family, gandchildren, time with her husband, and church service. Thanks for all you have done, Mrs. Pitcher! Enjoy your retirement!
Pat graduated from Brigham Young University in 1976 and accepted her first teaching position at Peace River High school teaching Home Economics. It was a wonderful start to a rewarding teaching career. The following year she accepted a position at Raymond Jr./High School. She also met and married her husband that year and moved to Vulcan, where she taught for a semester at County Central High School. Pat was able to remain at home with her young family for about 6 years before rejoining the teaching staff in Raymond for 8 months doing a maternity leave for the Home Ec. teacher at the high school. When the high school and junior high came under separate leadership she was offered the junior high home ec position in 1988 and has taught at Raymond Junior High ever since. Happy retirement Pat, you will be missed!
Ms. Tulk has touched the lives of so many students during her 30-year teaching career! She taught for many years at Northside Elementary before joining the Raymond Elementary school. Staff at RES will always remember her creativity, her laughter and her “turkey tango”. We wish her well as she spends more time with her grandchildren and travels. Sue says "I’m grateful for the 30 plus years I’ve had to learn from many incredible students and amazing colleagues who have become dear friends. I have been blessed with a love for life long learning and playing." Happy Retirement, Sue!
After completing two years at BYU as a music major, and then graduating from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelors of Music Education degree, Leslie started teaching school in Cardston during the fall of 1985. She worked as a full time music teacher and instigated the music program for 1200 students, both Cardston Elementary School and Eastridge Elementary School. She started the CES Senior Choir and taught both general music and choir for 18 years, then moved to full-time to the classroom teaching for 13 years teaching mostly grades 3 and 4. "What a joy to be able to do what you love for so many years with so many incredible human beings," says Mrs. Dittmann. Happy retirement, you will be missed!