A royal send off to Grade 5 students and Ms. Purves

In addition to sending 36 Grade 5 students off to Lake Cowichan Secondary School, last week saw Palsson Elementary School say goodbye to one of its faculty members.

Palsson Elementary School late primary teacher Jill Purves

Palsson Elementary School late primary teacher Jill Purves

In addition to sending 36 Grade 5 students off to Lake Cowichan Secondary School, last week saw Palsson Elementary School say goodbye to one of its faculty members.

This was the last semester late primary teacher Jill Purves will routinely grace the school’s halls, as she’s retiring.

“The children do clearly love Ms. Purves,” principal Fergus Horsburgh said, during a Tuesday, June 28, school assembly.

Purves has been teaching in the Cowichan Valley School District since 1974, and began teaching at Palsson Elementary School in 2003.

“She understands the importance of working as a group,” Horsburgh said. “You have been a ray of light.”

After being handed a healthy bunch of flowers, Purves spoke to a gymnasium full of admirers.

“When I was told I was coming to Lake Cowichan, I cried,” she said.

“But, I’m glad I came. I’ve never met such generous and empathetic children.”

She will be retiring, she clarified, despite other people implying that this would not be the case.

“We are all really wishing you your best in retirement,” fellow teacher Carolyn Graham said.

“It is clear that she shared her love of learning with the kids. We’ve all appreciated her attitude, her friendship, and all that she has shared with us.”

The school’s Parent Advisory Council chair Belinda Waller then shared a number of adjectives students used to described Purves, including amazing, caring, superb, caring (again), patient, loving, and many others.

In addition to sharing her love of learning with children, she’s shared her love of sunflowers.

“Every time I see a sunflower I will think of you,” Waller said. “You have guided compassionate souls.”

After Purves’ sendoff, the school’s Grade 5 students received their send-off, with students each awarded their own adjectives, in the form of virtues they’d been working on since Grade 1.

Virtues include things like caring, confident, accepting, curious, and other descriptors.

I know the halls of Lake Cowichan Secondary School will feel bright next year with these students,” Grade 5 teacher Ms. Bhandari said.

The top students then received their individual awards. Awards presented were as follows;

Sportsmanship Kristin Berry, Matthew Day

Athletic Luke Martin, Gillian Longbottom

Citizenship Cory Benfeld

Top academic Amber Clayton

Most improved Madison Wise, Daegen Mercer

Diligence Durrell Van Bastem, Mariah Smith

Leadership Brooklyn Kruk, Shalyn Jones

Fine arts Alanna Beaudry, Jonina Tyjnata

Service Desiree Karlsen, Emily Vaughan

Top all around Gillian Longbottom, Matthew Day

See next week’s Gazette for the results of AB Greenwell Elementary School’s Awards Day.