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F.P. Walshe school band teacher’s career ends on a high note

rick bullock

Retiring band teacher Rick Bullock got ‘the boot’ — an F.P. Walshe school tradition for departing staff members — as well as other gifts presented by student Chelsie Harris.

Rick Bullock didn’t have to blow his own horn Friday as the final note sounded on nearly three decades as band teacher at F.P. Walshe school.
Bullock’s students were more than happy to do it for him.
“Mr. Bullock has influenced many years of students,” said Chelsie Harris, one of many students who played in bands directed by Bullock since 1987. “He will be missed.”
Bullock came to Fort Macleod in 1987 after starting his teaching career in Red Deer and Manyberries.
Harris said that over the following three decades Bullock built an outstanding band program at F.P. Walshe school.
In recent years, Bullock has also guided the band program at Matthew Halton school in Pincher Creek.
One of his moves was to combine students from both schools to form a single high school band in order to ensure the opportunity existed for the students attending the two small schools.
Bullock was also a long-time basketball coach at F.P. Walshe school, leading both the boys and girls high school teams over the years.
Bullock also made his mark as a co-founder of the popular FACES (Facilitating Awareness and Character Building Experiences for Children) program.
FACES is a locally-developed program for students in Grade 9 and 10, with curriculum approved by Alberta Education.
FACES helps build students’ self-esteem through a variety of team-building and self-discovery exercises such as climbing, canoeing, making masks, outdoor pursuits and keeping a journal, while earning up to 15 high school credits.
Students spend two weeks in the summer at the Gladstone Ranch, 30 minutes west of Pincher Creek.
Bullock said Friday he intends to continue his work with FACES.
Friday’s assembly was not something Bullock was particularly looking forward to attending.
“When I walked in the school I got kind of emotional,” Bullock said. “I am really going to miss my students, and the staff too.”
Bullock thanked the staff and students for making his three decades at the school enjoyable.
“Thank you so much for putting up with me, and for all the great memories.”

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