JOHN ARENDT ON THE BALL Summerland Secondary School teachers Tom Brickenden, left, and Dave Stathers are both retiring after lengthy teaching careers. Both plan to work with student sports in the future.

High school teachers retire

Summerland Secondary School teachers have spent more than two decades in the classroom.

After more than two decades of teaching at Summerland Secondary School, two high school teachers are retiring.

Dave Stathers has been a high school teacher for 29 years and has spent 27 of those years at Summerland Secondary School.

Tom Brickenden began his teaching career in the fall of 1987 and has been at Summerland Secondary School since the fall of 1995.

Brickenden grew up in Summerland and graduated from the high school where he later taught.

He said his time as a high school student inspired him to become a teacher.

“It was the excellent teachers who taught me in school,” he said.

After graduating, he wanted to become a high school teacher and coach, even though he was shy and quiet at the time.

Stathers also recalled inspiring high school teachers, especially one math teacher who made the material enjoyable. “I wanted to be just like him.”

After graduating from high school, Stathers studied education in university. However, after he finished his degree, there were no teaching jobs available.

For nine years he worked as a journalist. until a teaching position opened up in Invermere.

Brickenden also recalled how difficult it was to get a teaching job after he received his university degree.

“I applied to every single school district in the province,” he said. “Fort St. James hired me over the phone.”

Both teachers have appreciated their time at Summerland Secondary School.

“This school is truly outstanding as a community school,” Stathers said.

Brickenden added that the high school alumni still have a strong connection to the school and will return for events such as the annual alumni basketball tournament, held near the end of December.

While students are in the classroom for several hours each day, and while school is not in session during the summer break, winter break and spring break, the role of a teacher is far more demanding, Stathers and Brickenden say.

“There’s a lot happening before 8:30 in the morning and after three o’clock in the afternoon,” Stathers said. Work including developing the curriculum for the year, grading tests and assignments and preparing lesson materials all require considerable time.

Both teachers have also spent time in volunteer work and as coaches. Stathers was a girls’s basketball coach while Brickenden, the school’s athletic director, coached volleyball and basketball.

Stathers said teaching can be challenging, but it is also rewarding. “It’s a career, not a job,” he said. “You’re never staring at the clock. Time passes by so quickly.”

The best part of being a teacher has been the opportunity to work with the students, both men say.

“You become a teacher for the love of being with young people,” Brickenden said. “Each year you‘re working with a new group of kids.”

“The kids in this community are outstanding,” Stathers added.

And while they have had some challenging students over the years, both teachers have enjoyed the students they have known.

“Teenagers are so misunderstood,” Stathers said. “They’re amazing to work with every day.”

Because they had the same students throughout high school, both teachers have been able to develop strong relationships. “A lot of the kids I taught four years in a row, ” Stathers said. “I got to know them and their families.”

“The relationships with the students last a long time,” Brickenden added.

What’s next after high school? rickenden and Stathers are considering their options.

Stathers plans to referee basketball. He is also contemplating whether to run for office as a school trustee this fall.

Brickenden plans to referee volleyball and basketball. While he wants to take year off coaching, he would like to coach again in the future.

“I think we both would like to have future interactions with students,” Stathers said.

Just Posted

Summerland applying for $60,000 grant for energy efficiency upgrades

Funding under Community Energy Leadership Program covers 33 per cent of project costs

Summerland Orca Swim Club holds fundraising events

Proceeds benefit swimmer with rare kidney disease

Kelowna RCMP search for missing senior

Cathy Wilson has dementia and was seen leaving her care facility in Rutland

COLUMN: Imagine the possibilities at the library

Programs at Summerland Library promote reading among children

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Okanagan and Connector

Storms expected to develop this morning and intensify early in the afternoon

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Penticton baby suffers injuries from fall

Emergency crews responded to a report of a fall at a residence at 4 p.m. on June 26

Missing and murdered Indigenous women remembered at Okanagan rally

Red Dress campaign honours the memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Kelowna’s homeless population doesn’t have much hope of finding a bed at a shelter

Central Okanagan Journey Home Society says 300 people waitlisted for supportive housing

Most Read