By Neil Corbett – Maple Ridge News
Sean Nosek remembers his first days as an educator in Maple Ridge, starting out teaching English and gym at Thomas Haney secondary.
To the young teacher, a school like Thomas Haney, with its self-directed learning model, had existed only in textbooks.
“It was theoretical – what education was supposed to be moving toward,” he said.
Being part of a staff that was doing cutting edge work was great, and he fell in love with the institution itself – a three-year-old school that was big and open, with natural light, a modern esthetic and on a great site.
“For a 24-year-old, I thought I did pretty well, and had landed in a pretty good place.”
That was 19 years ago. Nosek is back at Thomas Haney, but now the principal – and one of the best in Canada. This is month Nosek was chosen to receive a Canada’s Outstanding Principals Award from the Learning Partnership. He is one of 40 across Canada to receive the honour.
After his first seven years as a teacher, Nosek moved to Maple Ridge secondary – “an excellent school in its own right.” He was promoted to vice-principal at 31, and still taught English.
“I found the transition to be smooth,” he said. “I took the best of what we did at Thomas Haney with me, and made it work in a classroom.”
He was there three years before being transferred to Westview secondary, where he remained as VP for a year, then was promoted to principal. The school was getting its new turf field, and Nosek was there to launch the soccer academy, and build a soccer exchange partnership with a school in Guadalajara, Mexico.
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