Timberwolf Tracks - September 2015

September is always a fresh start! We hear the pitter patter of nervous new paws in the hallways, the yips and yaps of the little timberwolves playing on the playground, and the howls of laughter as students and teachers start an exciting new year together. September is definitely the start of something new, but it is also a time of change. The summer is ending, the days are growing shorter, and the leaves start to turn.

TGMS is no different in this respect. It’s the start of a new school year, but also one that is bringing many changes. We are welcoming several new staff members to the pack. Mrs. Chelsea Odell joins us as our Librarian; Ms. Marilena Kowalchuk brings a rich scientific background to teaching Grade 7 and 8 Science, Grade 7 Social Studies, and Grade 5 and 6 Keyboarding; Mr. Clint Maxwell brings his worldly knowledge and his creativity to teaching Grade 8 Social Studies, Grade 5-8 Art, and Grade 8 Language Arts; and Ms. Rebekah Rud joins us to provide guidance as our School Counsellor.

We welcome a relatively small Grade 5 class--13 new pups in all. After having only known them a few short weeks, I can already tell that we are in for some exciting times in the next four years. They just seem to be taking everything in and have quickly become part of our Timberwolf Family. In total, we have 73 students in Grades 5 to 8 this year.

Our TGMS Open House and Book Fair was well-attended. At the end of the week, our Book Fair made $920.25 and earned 33 new books for our school Library, plus an additional four books that were donated by a generous community member. Thanks to all who came out to support us!

The TGMS Magazine Drive kicked off on Friday. This is the major fundraiser for the Student Council and allows them to purchase play equipment and plan activities throughout the year. Please consider supporting this campaign by buying a magazine from one of our students who will be out selling until October 13.  

As we end our first month, we have another major change in our school. As I am leaving my position with Prairie Spirit School Division after 22 amazing years, we welcome Mr. Nathan Ramage as the new Principal at TGMS. Nathan has taught with the division for seven years, most recently at Prairie Mountain Elementary. He lives in Pilot Mound with his wife Aimee and their three children. I feel very confident leaving my cherished students and staff in his capable hands. Welcome to the pack, Mr. Ramage. You are now the Alpha wolf! Take care of the pups for me!

In my usual procrastinatory fashion, I am writing my final Timberwolf Tracks on the evening before my final school day in 40 years. A lot of emotions are running through my heart. Sadness is foremost, as I am leaving my home and my family whom I love with my whole heart. Fondness for all of the kids I will say "until we meet again" to. Anxiety for the particular students with whom I've formed special bonds; the ones who really depend on me when they're having a tough day. Confidence in the most caring and devoted staff and superior teachers; they are true professionals who go above and beyond every day. And ranking just behind sadness, is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

I'm so lucky to have had a 'job' for 22 years in the same school, where 99.99% of my days were filled with enormous joy and celebration of young learners. Every day was different and unique, just as every child is different and unique. I have had the most amazing colleagues with whom I've shared many laughs, many profound conversations, and even a few tears. To be able to work every day with people you genuinely love and know are true friends is a gift that not everyone gets to experience in their lifetime. Thank you to all of the students, parents, colleagues, and dear friends who have let me live the dream. Until we meet again, keep howling!

Most respectfully submitted by Terri Hill, TGMS Principal