Written by: Emma Miao (grade 10) & Mia Torres (grade 8)
“How is retirement going Mr. T?”
“It’s. So. Wonderful.”
With the school year up and running again, you might be wondering: Where is Mr. Thomas? How is he doing? What is his role at school now that he’s retired? We interviewed him to hear about how his retirement is going!
Before Mr. Thomas’ retirement at the end of last year, he was a splendidly exuberant Science and STEM teacher, as well as the Head of the Science Department. Students and faculty from all over the school all confidently can say that he was one of the most enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate teachers they’ve ever met. Even though Mr. T is retired, he hasn’t lost that passionate spark. You can still find him around the school teaching STEM class (during blocks three and four), running planet club, and doing all sorts of science related projects with the WPGA community.
A big part of Mr. T’s role at school is running planet club with Ms. Jones. With the climate protests just a couple of weeks ago, the planet is a big topic of discussion, so we asked him about the future of planet club. Mr. T talked about many interesting improvements, including the new (stunning) seating / garden area in front of the school. Although it’s been a long process (over ten years!), it was finally executed this summer. It took two guys working for three weeks, making the space mirror the cedars, much like an outdoor classroom. We’ll be sure to see other classes make great use of the space in the upcoming months before it gets too cold for the winter. It looks absolutely beautiful – make sure you take a look as you walk into school.
The Planet Club has implemented many other projects over the past years as well. For example, it was their idea to implement good-one-side (G1S) baskets in every classroom. The Bees were also their initiative, although it is mostly run by the Junior School. Finally, Mr. T headed a long revamp project of the garbage bins throughout the school — the WPGA community still has trouble sometimes with sorting our trash, and Planet Club is working hard to make the process smoother for us all.
Every Wednesday, Planet Club meets for an hour before school and discusses ideas, as well as tending to the garden. For example, there’s planting, raking, deadheading, and pruning the garden. Soon, they will be planting some beautiful daffodils. Later on in the year, they will be putting on bikers breakfast as well as beach cleanups. If you have an idea about sustainability in the WPGA community, bring it to Planet Club and they’ll make it a reality!
Besides Planet club and teaching STEM, Mr. T is also helping out with Admissions staff, and chaperoning all of the MUN trips this year — to Tokyo, Montreal, Whistler, and more! We asked him a final few questions in case you wanted to know Mr. Thomas even more than you already do.
Tea or Coffee?
— “Coffee in the morning, and tea in the afternoon”
What’s your favourite type of tea?
— “Peppermint green tea.”
Do you make your own tea?
— “Always. English Breakfast tea in the morning.”
What’s your favourite Tim Hortons Doughnut flavour?
— “Honey cruller.”