It was a momentous and emotional time for everyone who attended the last day of school on June 28th, as local principal, Dan Russell, at G. C. Huston Public School in Southampton, bid farewell.
Russell, who has been at the school for eight years and who transformed the school and its integral role in the community, has transferred to another school in Owen Sound, where he will end his teaching career when he retires in four years.
The last day at G. C. Huston was to have been a summer ‘beach’ theme but, instead, the staff, parents and entire school body were in on a well-kept secret.
An avid outdoorsman, Russell had always wanted to have a camouflage day, where everyone dressed in camouflage attire. Much to his surprise, on the last day, he was the only one to dress in a ‘beach’ theme while everyone in the school – students and staff and many parents, showed up in camouflage.
Russell, who has fostered a close relationship between the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Southampton, began the initiative that resulted in the historic naming of the bridge over the Saugeen River that connects the two communities.
While many tears were shed, it was also a time of celebration for some students as they received awards.
Russell is not the only one leaving as French teacher, Deb McKay also announced her retirement. McKay has also been art instructor and instrumental in fostering student art through the creation of painting classroom doors based on the indigenous ‘Seven Grandfather Teachings’.
“I’m retiring but will be coming in one day a week next year to help finish the doors project,” said McKay.
The School Song
Dan Russell encourages music and culture
A final cheer