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School Briefs: Kelowna teacher applauded for leadership commitment

Al Hopgood of Springvalley Middle receives award from U.S. organization

Al Hopgood personifies what leadership is all about.

The Springvalley Middle School teacher was recently recognized for that leadership in being awarded honourary life membership with the California Association of Directors (CADA).

CADA was established in 1957, with the mission to promote and support leadership development through student activities.

The honour was presented to Hopgood at the recent annual CADA convention in San Diego.

Hopgood went to his first convention in 2009 and was immediately inspired by what he heard, bringing other school officials with him the following year.

“When we flew back we had a layover in Seattle, and while waiting at the airport for our connecting flight we literally drew up the leadership program concept for middle schools,” he recalled when speaking before the Central Okanagan Board of Education at its April 10 meeting.


The board of education has declared April 21 to 27 as National Volunteer Week, and April 28 as a Day of Mourning for Central Okanagan public schools.

Flags will be lowered at half-mast to honour those workers who have been hurt or who have lost their lives in the course of performing their duties.

A Day of Mourning commemoration ceremony will also be held at the Central Okanagan Public Schools operations department on Dease Road. The ceremony will take place Friday, April 26, 11 a.m.


There was a minor fire at Mount Boucherie Secondary School last Wednesday, April 10.

The fire occurred after classes were dismissed, and sourced to a wastebasket in one of the washrooms.

No extensive damage was reported.


The artistic talent of Central Okanagan students is again on display this year at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Titled Art in Action: Inspiring Awe, the student art exhibition is on now until May 5, with the official opening reception held earlier this month.

The art gallery describes the exhibit this way: “Students were encouraged to convey their visions of amazement by reflecting on the world and considering the impact of inspiration on artistic expression. This theme underscores the potency of art in eliciting awe, fostering creativity and inspiring others.”


In February, Grade 5 students at Black Mountain Elementary School participated in the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s “Imagine a Canada” 2023-24 program.

Canadian youth were invited to envision a Canada reconciled.

The Grade 5 classes’ submission was an outlining of what they know of Canada’s history, their role in reconciliation and their hopes of what they learn from working on their submission to the NCTR program.

Their project was selected and two of the Grade 5 class members will represent their classmates at a ceremony in Winnipeg next month to share their project and talk about reconciliation from their perspective at the NCTR.


The 2024 Windscapes Concert Band Festival will take place April 22-25 at Creekside Theatre in Lake Country.

This year, 31 bands will participate over the course of the four days, including 19 groups representing 10 different Central Okanagan public schools.

Others are coming from Kamloops, Vernon and Vancouver in B.C., and Calgary and Brooks in Alberta.

The students in these bands are from Grades 7 to 12.


The WHEELS Transition to Employment Program and Services training program for students is ready to help cyclists get their bikes tuned up and adjusted for the coming outdoor bike riding season.

Working in collaboration with Community Living BC, participants in the program were provided with the opportunity to develop customer service skills in ‘real-time’ and develop the essential skills potential employers seek.

WHEELS is located at 1-2235 Leckie Rd. in Kelowna.

Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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