This week, the Board of Governors honoured four extraordinary members of our community for their service and dedication to the school. David Fisher, Cliff Yorath and Rob Cameron are all retiring at the end of this year, while Alan Jones was celebrated for his 25 years as a faculty member. Rob’s wife, Eva, was also recognized for her years as a well-loved house parent in Bolton House.
At an evening dinner at Brown Hall, Greg Marchand, David Gauthier, Robert Common and Mel Jones delivered tributes to their colleagues that were both moving and funny. As the evening came to a close, Board of Governors Chair David Angus led the governors in a round of applause in recognition of the incredible work our teachers and staff do.
Congratulations to Alan, David, Cliff and Rob. The SMUS community will be able to read more about this quartet in an extended tribute that will run in the fall edition of School Ties.
Alan came to SMUS in 1983 to teach a combined Art 11/12 class part-time. His first classroom was in a portable behind the Challoner Building and his class consisted of three students. Within three years, the art room had moved to the top of School House and Alan’s programme had grown to classes for all students in Grades 9-12, with two classes for Grade 11s. Alan still teaches Art 12 and has led a recent surge in art-related, post-secondary studies for students that saw 14 of last year’s graduates enter a visual arts or architecture programme. An avid cycler, Alan started Lower Vancouver Island Cycling League and coached the school cycling team for 10 years.
David has taught Chemistry at the school since 1993, and has made an incredible impact on his students and colleagues in that time. As a teacher, he has sent many students on to successful university careers in science and related fields. He has also made a significant contribution to the school’s theatre programme through tireless hours of set construction. His unique and memorable role in the school’s cricket programme has been critical in sustaining that sport and bringing it to a point where the sport is enjoying a renewal of interest and enthusiasm.
Rob came to the school in 1987 as a French teacher, but quickly showed his dexterity by also teaching Spanish. In his eighteen years at SMUS, he has become the linguistic guru of his department and his Modern Language colleagues will miss him for this reason as well as for his humour and unflappability. Rob has been involved with many teams but is best known for his time coaching the soccer teams. For 14 years, Rob and his wife, Eva, were well-loved and well-respected house parents in Bolton House.
During his 30 years at the school, Cliff has served in a wide variety of capacities. He started in 1976 as a Social Studies teacher in the Junior School. Soon afterward, he became Athletic Director in the Senior School, a role he occupied for nine years. In 1987, he moved back to the Junior School, and in 1992 he became Assistant Director of the Junior School. In 1995, he became Director of the Middle School, which he led for nine years. For the past four years, Cliff has served as our Director of Alumni Relations, during which time Cliff was a major force in organizing the Centennial Celebrations of 2006.