Letter From The Editor
I like to think I’m living proof that teachers can change lives. I know for certain that a collective of teachers throughout my life impacted me profoundly, and in honour of our very first back to school themed edition of YMM, I want to pay tribute to all of the teachers that not only impacted me, but all the teachers out there making a difference in the lives of children and parents every day.
I was blessed growing up with a lot of teachers that showed me compassion and leadership, and who helped develop my passions. While I would like to send a special shout-out to all of my teachers over the years (and I had a lot of amazing ones), I’ll speak about a few and some of their impact on my life.
Growing up, I have always been a passionate person, and the man who I think drew the most of that out of me was Mr. Ray Budgell at Random Island Academy. He was my first drama teacher and directed me in a couple of big school productions, as well as taught me to love reading, writing and all things related to the English language. Seeing how I still act in shows, and am the proud owner of this magazine, I think his impact is still having an influence on me!
When I moved to Alberta after Grade 10, I started attending Westwood Community High School and learned of the legend Mr. Zeglen. At first, I feared his Social Studies class, but soon discovered that I loved his very structured, rewarding class. It is because of Mr. Zeglen’s eye-opening approach to the world that I completely changed what I wanted to do for a living, and decided to study politics at the University of Ottawa. He later moved to Composite High School and is now retired, but a big thanks to you, Mr. Tony Zeglen, for pushing my world-view boundaries and introducing me to a world of political participation.
My last shout-out is to Mr. Rick Thorne - the current principal at the newly opening Christina Gordon Public School (you can learn more on page 15). Not only has he won over hearts and minds here in Fort McMurray, we go much further back to when he was the esteemed principal of Random Island Academy when I was still living in Newfoundland. Mr. Thorne helped me develop into a young leader who was involved in many clubs, activities and pushed our school and its students into a brighter future. I know I was fortunate to have him as a leader and role model growing up, and I know that the students of Christina Gordon will be too!
There are a lot of great stories and features to get you all ready and pumped up for the return of the school year this fall found within this issue. I’m sure you’ll all agree that Fort McMurray is blessed to have the team of teachers, students and support staff that we do. They are incredibly passionate and hard-working, and strive to give our kids the best the world has to offer. The team at YMM want to wish you all a safe, happy and exciting term as together you all work together to make our region even brighter!