By Signe Olynyk
As unusual as times are, it is also an exciting time at David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS). Glen Sage is replacing long time principal, Darren Danyluk. Sage, or Mr. Sage as students know him, is leading the teaching team at DTSS, and we thought you might want to get to know him a little bit better.
Sage has been the vice principal at DTSS for the past 15 years, but is new to the role of principal. When he was only 24 years old, he moved to the valley to take a teaching position, teaching social studies until 2004. He then moved with his family to Australia for a one year teaching exchange, and returned to the position of vice principal, where he has been ever since. Many of the parents who grew up in the valley were likely taught by Sage.
Kids are not the only ones learning new things at school.
‘I’m looking forward to learning a new aspect in the administration of the school’, says Sage. ‘I’ve been part of the leadership team for a while now, and I think we have a great school.”
Heather English, a long time teacher at DTSS will join as the new vice principal.
Although DTSS is considered a small school with approximately 600 students in grades eight through twelve, DTSS offers a lot of choices of courses to students, and the staff go to great lengths to be flexible to the changing needs of students, who attend from as far south as Canal Flats and all the way to Spillimacheen.
“I’ve worked most closely with the grade eight and nine students over the years. As a vice principal, I’m often the person that meets with a student who might be experiencing some difficulties. They may be thinking they are getting into some trouble – and they might be – but I believe we are all much better if a student leaves the office feeling better than when they arrived.”
Sage’s favourite time of day is sitting on the bench outside the cafeteria in the morning, greeting students and staff as they arrive. He says the best thing about teaching and being an administrator is working with the kids.
“You never get tired of helping them along their journey to adulthood,” he adds. “The worst is working through tragedies that occur in life. We live in a small town and even after students graduate, we are still connected to the families.”
Sage is taking over the principal position from Danyluk, a long time and highly respected pillar in the community.
“I worked with him closely for 15 years and I have the utmost respect for him,” Sage said.
Daynyluk is on a two year leave, and was the longest serving principal in the history of DTSS.
“I wish the students, together with the staff, would have been able to give him a proper and public goodbye that he deserved. I have some big shoes to fill,” Sage said.
Invermere and the Columbia Valley are home for Sage and his family, and have been for more than 30 years.
“I love the Columbia Valley. I’m one of the few residents who moved east to come here. My wife and I grew up in Kamloops and whenever we brought up the topic of moving back, it was never a long discussion,” he said.
Sage, English, and all of the teaching staff on the team at DTSS, will be leading students through an unprecedented time, and into the future, whatever that looks like.