Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 18, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID _ Friday, Au.jusl 18, 1972. mutt retires 36 years in schools A ,10-year career in Alberta edu- cation will conic lo n close at the end of Ibis year willi the retire- ment of Bob Kimmill as superin- tendent of Ihe Lclhbridgc separate school system. Born in Ipswich, South Dakota in 1911, Mr. Kimmilt came to Alberta with his family in 1012. After a brief return lo the States lie came back to Alberta in 1919, "and I've been here ever since." After graduating from tlic old Calgary Normal .School in 1930, Mr. Kimtnitl first embarked on a leach- career, which spanned 22 years. ".My first job was in :i rural school south of How Island. made a year plus (be a year I got for dr.'iv; (lie ck'aning and starling the fires. "At the end of my first year, (he school board I old nin Musi'if I stay- ed on, (hey would cut my salary less than Ihev wen: culling everyone else's." When he left four years later. Mr, Kimmilt was making a year but (bat was still enough to make him the highest-paid rural school teacher in the province. He received his B.Kd. from the University of Alberta in 1945 and his M.Ed, in 1052. In 1053, lie was appointed .super- intendent of schools and was sent to Warner. Three years later, lie became Hie first sc'iiarntc school superintendent in the history of Lclhbridge, "There were about students and 85 teachers on staff when 1 came here IB years fie said. "I hired most of the leacher.s we have now, but we did have a lot of top-notch people in the classroom when I came on the scene, and that sure helped a lot." hooking back on the past Ifi years, Mr. Kimmill said it would be difficult to label any one thing as (he most .significant achieve- ment. "Any superintendent in the last 15 years has been more concerned with buildinj; schools and just keep- ing up with rapid growth lo think about much he said. "Hut I like lo think I have had a part in building a good .school di.'ilrict and in carrying out the philosophy of a Catholic educa- tion." Mr. Kimmill if he was going lo offer any advice to his successor, it would be to always remember that his first responsibility is to the boys and girls of the school dis- trict. The retiring school leader said one of the most significant changes lie has witnessed in education dur- ing his career is how the emphasis has switched from slndenls being just a group of people to studenls being individual people. "For many years lo curriculum was a neatly-packaged thing hand- ed out in lectures. If the students could get it, fine. If not, (hat was too bad. "When I came here, it was com- mon lo fail. One-third of any Grade BOB KIMMITT 9 class had failed at some lime or another. It is not that way any more. We are now paying more attention to the individual needs of the students." Mr. Kimmilt said he is "quite happy" witli the improvement, iu the quality of teachers in the last few years. lie said many parents probably aren't aware of just how much teaching has improved. There now is a larger percentage of better- trained teachers in the schools people who know how lo work with studenls. Bob Kimmilt wasn't always in- volved in cducalion. lie quit teach- ing twice during the 30's and tried selling cars, worked as a cusloms officer al the Coutts border cross- ing, worked on the railroad between Medicine Hat and Nelson, B.C. and even took some lime off to leclure on behalf of Social Credit in 1935. He returned to teaching in the lale HOs, bill his career was inlcr- ruplcd by Ihe Second World War. He spent the war years building guns and aircraft in Calgary and Kdmonton. In 1945, he returned lo leaching for good. "I have very few regrels, I will leave quite happy. The whole thing has been a tremendous chal- lenge. "I'vc had a superior school board over the years and I have also been blessed with good people in the head office. One of the really warm spots is the type of people I've had to work with." Mr. Kimmilt said he hopes to continue his involvement in educa- tion, perhaps through a posting in an underdeveloped country. The new superintendent of the helhbridgo separate school .system says be sees his job as being an ambassador of the schools in tlie communify which they serve. Kalph 43, said Ibc chair- man of the school board represents the trustees, principals represent their schools and the superinten- dent brings it all together and rep- resents everyone. But (here's more to it than thai, Tllr. Jlhnsl adds. "The superintendent has to work with Ihe professional slaff and id- entify the educational needs of stu- dents and then make policy rec- ommendations to the school board and other appropriate lie said. Mr. Himsl, who takes the super- intendent's post .Ian. 1, H173, is father of eight children, ranging in age from seven lo 20. Three will be attending the University of Sas- katchewan this fall. Born in Bethune, Sa.sk., about ,30 miles west of Regina, Mr. Ilirnsl has studied at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of British Columbia and the Univer- sity of Toledo. Me holds a B.A., IJ.Ed. and M.Kii. and is currently studying toward a doclorale at the University of Tol- edo. Mr. Ilimsl said lie sees Ihe pur- pose of a Catholic education as one that is designed lo prepare children lo be responsible adults who are heavily laden with Catho- lic altitudes. "I would like to think separate schools will be stronger as lime goes on and as we develop our he said. will have to become more clear about what we are trying to do, and (hen we will have a strong- er system." Mr. Itims! said education should place "a lot of emphasis" on leaching skills in order to make studenls more cffeclive adults. "We should prepare people who can fulfill themselves and perfect themselves for the purposes for which they were created." Parent concern and involvement with education is critical, h c added. as "I have a great deal of respect for the views of b ou t their expectations of the school sys- tem they he said. Mr. Ilimsl says he will be going to England this fall for an extended lour of educational facilities there. He said England is reportedly "where the action is" and he wants lo have a look at Ihe way they are doing certain things before ho lakes up his Lethbridge post. The new Lethbridge school lead- er is a former superintendent of schools in Prince Albert and Mooso .law, Sask. Me has been involved in education for 23 years, including 10 years as a classroom teacher in elementary and high schools. At the present time, Mr. Himsl is completing nearly five years on the Saskatchewan Ncwstart Pro- ject, a special adult job training program sponsored by the provin- cial government. RALPH HIMSL Separate counselling expands this year While Ihe separate school dis- trict docs not have counsellor specialists in every school, Catholic Central High School has Iwo full- time counsellors, and teachers in all of ihe elemental y schools pro- vide advice to studenls seeking it. The district also has an oppoi lim- it y room for students of all grades who need special educational as- sistance, loca.tcd at St. Mary's School. Tliis year the opportunity room students, ranging in age from 10 to about 18, will foe included in St. Mary's large open area classroom. This will provide them wilh a considerable amount of. social in- teraction with odicr slndenls and teachers, as well as keeping them direclly involved in all school ac- tivities. The older opportunity students go to CCIIS for industrial arts, physi- cal education, music and oilier ac- tivities and as much as possible arc kept in their own age groups. Trainablo retarded children in (he district six this year arc sent to Dorothy Gooder School in Lcthbridgc.