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October 27, 2017 4:59 pm

‘It’s Been My Honour to Serve’ says Retiring Teachers’ Rep

Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

Retiring Prince George and District Teachers’ Association president Richard Giroday making his final presentation to the Prince George school board this week – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – After close to 30 years as a teacher and union representative in the Prince George School District, Richard Giroday will retire June 30.

He spent 25 of those years in the classroom (many of those at D.P. Todd Secondary School) – teaching mathematics, science and physics – and the final four on the executive of the Prince George and District Teachers’ Association – the final two as president.

“It’s been my honour to serve. I want to thank School District 57 for the wonderful career I’ve enjoyed for the past 29 years,” he told the board of education at its final public meeting of the year this week.

“So many people have helped me on my journey as a teacher. Fellow teachers that were mentors, principals who supported me and administrators who gave me opportunity for leadership.”

Perhaps most satisfying however was the relationship he shared with his students.

“Young people who I was privileged to journey through life for a brief period of time. Who I was blessed to watch grow and mature, learn and become knowledgeable and who challenged me as much as I challenged them.”

In retirement, Giroday says he plans to stay in Prince George and spend time with his 12 grandkids and one great-granddaughter.

“To really support our family in any way I can.”

Giroday will be succeeded in his role by current first vice-president of the PGDTA Joanne Hapke.

Those who worked with Giroday at the PGDTA office – Hapke, professional development Chair Glen Thielmann, and office manager Nancy Pilon, told 250News that “Richard had a unique ability to both apply principles and remain flexible when problems and issues came up in district schools.

“He addressed problems through the lens of our Collective Agreement; this sometimes involved researching bargaining notes going back to the 1980s to determine how certain problems were handled in the past and how the parties came to an agreement.

“He never took short cuts when dealing with issues – nobody took better notes at high-stakes meetings and he spent many evening hours consolidating notes and digesting the nuances of the problem.”

The trio added Richard was also present to offer a helping hand to teachers when they needed it.

“It was clear to us and each person that sought his help that he is a kind and thoughtful man. It has made the difficult and often tense work of dealing with members concerns and schools issues that much easier to have done so over the last two years with someone who is quick to smile and laugh, and has brought the full weight of his intelligence and compassion to his work. He will be missed.”


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