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W.A. Day school honours long-time staff members

laurie and suzanne

Laurie Lavorato and Suzann Hatton were honoured on their retirement from W.A. Day school.

Staff and students at W.A. Day school paid tribute to two retiring staff members.
Teacher Laurie Lavorato and teacher assistant Suzann Hatton were honoured at an assembly in the school gymnasium.
“I want to congratulate both Laurie and Suzann on their amazing years of service,” said former principal Richard Feller, who is now director of learning support services for Livingstone Range School Division.
Feller, who worked with the two retirees for 13 years, reflected that they started their careers the same year the Vietnam War ended, the movie Jaws was released and the TV show Saturday Night Live began.
That same year Bick started selling the first disposable razor, Motorola obtained a patent for the mobile phone, and the first personal computer was sold.
“There is truly no way to express our appreciation to someone who has given their heart to our school,” Feller said.
Lavorato earned an education degree at the University of Lethbridge and joined the staff at W.A. Day school where she taught Kindergarten and Grades 2 and 3 over a period of 31 years.
“Mrs. Lavorato expected a lot out of her students and herself,” teacher Tannis gunderson said. “She spent many hours in the evenings and on weekends planning and organizing activities for her students.”
“Mrs. Lavorato has been a dedicated and passionate teacher. She never tired of trying new things.”
Lavorato made certain students had high interest, creative and hands-on experiences and lessons in order to learn new concepts.
“In this she promoted curiosity for life-long learning.”
Lavorato told staff she will miss reading stories written by her students, as well as reading children’s books to them.
She will also miss preparing social studies lessons, as she loves learning about the world.
Other things Lavorato predicted she will miss include Elsa Nathe’s cooking, phone calls from Susan Craig reminding her to submit attendance reports and Halloween parties.
One thing she won’t miss about teaching? Report cards.
Lavorato’s husband Peter is also retiring this spring after 32 years of teaching at F.P. Walshe school.
In retirement, Lavorato is looking forward to sleeping in and not being on a schedule, and enjoying that first morning coffee on her deck.
Reading books, hiking and gardening are retirement pursuits she has planned, along with daily walks with Peter and their dog Bones, and photography.
The Galapagos Islands, Peru and Australia top the list of travel plans Lavorato has for retirement.
“We are very excited for the Lavoratos as they begin this new chapter in their lives,” Patty McNally said. “Laurie, it has been so much fun. We wish you a healthy, happy retirement. We love you. We will miss you.”
Feller said Hatton has cared for everyone at the school over 42 years and has loved each one of them.
“Mrs. Hatton is truly a gem,” Feller said. “Actually, more like a diamond.”
Feller gently teased Hatton about her long service, joking that one of her first jobs was to fill a bucket with coal to ensure there was fuel for the school furnace.
Feller noted that diamonds form under pressure.
“Mrs. Hatton loves the pressure of working in education,” Feller said.
Feller said diamonds have an image of purity and light, and are given as a symbol of love.
“Over the past 42 years Mrs. Hatton has been a symbol of commitment to life-long learning, coupled with integrity and conviction for the things that matter most — her family, her work and her two principals,” Feller said.
Feller said Hatton has earned the respect of students and her colleagues and has shown courage many times.
“She listens with her heart and always does the right thing, even when it’s hard,” Feller added.
Compassion, conviction and honesty are also strengths of Hatton, who is always about the students first,”
“When we think of the word integrity, Mrs. Hatton comes to mind,” Feller said.
Feller said Hatton was instrumental in making W.A. Day school the great place it is for students.

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