As the school year comes to a close, the students and staff at Ladysmith Intermediate School are preparing to say goodbye to one of their most beloved and longest-serving teachers.
Carol Minchin, the last active teacher from the former School District 67 (Ladysmith-Chemainus), finishes her last day at LIS on Fri., June 29.
Minchin was born and raised in Ladysmith, and she began her teaching career in 1971 at Ladysmith Primary School and the old Diamond School on Christie Road. For the past 26 years, Minchin has made the commute from her home in Mill Bay every day to teach in the community and school that she loves.
“It has been pretty special being in the same school and I attended that school myself,” she said. “The staff has always been a wonderful staff.”
Minchin said it is the close community connections in Ladysmith that have kept her here through the years, but she is now ready to move on to something new and different. She is considering a position supervising student teachers, as she has mentored many of them throughout her career.
“I have had so many and I’ve really thought I would enjoy that because I would get to go to different schools,” she said. “I will still always want to be a teacher. Whether I go into schools and help at schools or go back to [LIS] and help kids on a volunteer basis, I can’t see myself not doing that. You don’t just give it up.”
Staff at Ladysmith Intermediate School say they are sad to see Minchin go.
“It’s a sad sight to see her go because she’s been such a staple here for so long; she’s a foundation of this school,” said Grade 4/5 teacher Tracey Teneycke, who has substituted for Minchin at Ladysmith Intermediate School for almost a decade. “She’s been here through everything thick and thin.”
Among many things, Minchin is known for her participation in the Jump Rope for Heart program, which raised more than $4,000 last year. She also has ties to the school’s ambassador (council) program and the Tiger Club.
“Her whole being is for the kids,” said co-worker Anita Leed, who has taught since 1979. “Sharing a classroom was an amazing thing with her because not only would she have her own ideas, but she would spark my ideas as well.”
Teneycke described Minchin as caring and patient.
“She models and inspires complete greatness and dedication,” she said.
On Mon., June 25, there will be a special celebration tea for Minchin and two other LIS retiring staff members, Paul Grey and Sharon Magnone.
The tea will take place in the LIS gym from 3-4:30 p.m., and organizers are hoping some of Minchin’s former students will attend.
“She’s taught generations; there’s kids that she’s taught grandparents of,” Teneycke said.