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W.A. Day school students celebrate retiring teacher

Sandra LaMouche leads the W.A. Day school dancers.

Sandra LaMouche leads the W.A. Day school dancers.

Retiring teacher Lori Filatoff gets a hug from one of the students.

Retiring teacher Lori Filatoff gets a hug from one of the students.

W.A. Day school paid tribute last week to its longest-serving staff member.
The school held a celebration at the community hall June 21 to give Lori Filatoff a big send-off into retirement.
Filatoff, who has taught Kindergarten to Grade 3 in Fort Macleod for 35 years, was escorted into the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall by RCMP Const. Sherri-Lee Smith.
Filatoff received a huge round of applause from the students, staff and friends on hand for the celebration as she entered the hall.
After graduating from high school Filatoff attended the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, where she enrolled in the secretarial arts program.
Filatoff quickly realized that was not the career for her, and she moved back to Fort Macleod and enrolled at the University of Lethbridge.
Filatoff earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the U of L and later returned to complete a Masters of Special Education.
When she got her first teaching job in Fort Macleod, Filatoff had no plans to still be teaching at the school 35 years later.
Filatoff said she will miss the children, and the staff, but is looking forward to having more time to spend with her grandchildren.
The retirement celebration was run by students from the Grade 1-5 school.
The students celebrated their retiring teacher in conjunction with a National Aboriginal Day celebration.
W.A. Day school’s own First Nations dance group entertained the large crowd at the community hall.
The student dancers, who were led by staff member Sandra LaMouche, performed a variety of traditional dances.
The students reflected how Filatoff was always sweet, helpful and “full of smiles and compliments.”
The students recalled that Filatoff taught them “fun stuff,” as well as their ABCs.
“Thank you so much for teaching me,” one of the students said.
Another student recalled being taught to share and be kind.
Another student remembered play time as her favourite part of Kindergarten, because “in Grade 1 there is no play time.”
The students presented the retiring teacher with a cake and a Pennington blanket and a rocking chair for her front porch.
She also received marbles to replace the ones she lost while teaching, crayons to colour her days sunny and bright, a do not disturb sign to remind her to take time for herself and a Chapters gift card because she now has time to lose herself in a good book.

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