Ted’s ex­cel­lent ad­ven­ture

Long­time As­cen­sion ed­u­ca­tor re­tir­ing


It is rare to find an ed­u­ca­tor who chooses to teach for more than 30 years and it is even rarer to find one who has spent all of those three-plus decades at the same in­sti­tu­tion.

Ted Trenchard of Bay Roberts is one of those ed­u­ca­tors, and ac­cord­ing to him, he is only one to do so in New­found­land and Labrador.

Grad­u­at­ing from Me­mo­rial Univer­sity with a de­gree in spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion, Trenchard started at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts in Septem­ber 1978 and has re­mained in that po­si­tion ever since.

“I was in the first grad­u­at­ing class for spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and I could pick and choose what school I wanted,” he said. “I chose As­cen­sion be­cause in 1978 it was on the rise of get­ting into a dif­fer­ent level of pro­grams.”

When the final school bell rings for the 2011-2012 school year, it will mark his 34th year at the school.


• Age — 59; • Home­town — Toronto, Ont.; • Re­sides — Bay Roberts; • Fam­ily — has a wife, Dianne, and two adult chil­dren, Sheileigh and Ryan; • Ed­u­ca­tion — de­gree in spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion from Me­mo­rial Univer­sity, 1978; • Oc­cu­pa­tion — re­tired teacher; • School — As­cen­sion Col­le­giate; • Years taught — 34; • First prin­ci­pal —Bill Hed­der­son; • Favourite tele­vi­sion show — Frasier; • Favourite movie — Schindler’s List; • Beer or wine — beer; • Favourite sports team — Chicago Black­hawks; • All-time favourite Black­hawk — Bobby Hull; • Stranded on a desert is­land with only three CDS — Jimi Hen­drix, Chicago, San­tana and Pink Floyd; • Miles ran ev­ery­day — four miles a day for 33 years; • Es­ti­mated num­ber of times ran around the world — twice; • Proud­est mo­ment — “In 1987, my­self and Ern Walsh, coached the fast­pitch boys to a AAAA cham­pi­onship. Sev­eral of those boys went on to play na­tional fast­pitch.”

“I’m very lucky be­cause I never had to worry about get­ting laid off or get­ting into a car pool. I never had to sub­sti­tute a day. I was very for­tu­nate,” said Trenchard.

He has seen many changes in the school sys­tem since his be­gin­nings at As­cen­sion. From tech­nol­ogy to the evo­lu­tion of the stu­dent, the ed­u­ca­tional land­scape has changed.

He has seen the ad­di­tion of Grade 12 in 1982 to the school’s cur­ricu­lum as well as the ab­sorp­tion of the teach­ers and stu­dents from Bishop O’neill Col­le­giate in Bri­gus in 2000.

“It was a very smooth tran­si­tion con­sid­er­ing we thought there was go­ing to be a lit­tle bit of up­heaval,” he said. “It worked out. The staff that came up were great.”

Even the phys­i­cal changes to the school, like the in­stal­la­tion of el­e­va­tors and sur­veil­lance cam­eras, which he calls “sign of the times.”

One of the changes Trenchard be­lieves helped pro­long his time in the class­room was the in­stal­la­tion of fit­ness equip­ment four years ago.

“I’m telling you the truth, if they didn’t have that there I think I may have re­tired four years ear­lier,” he said.

Some of the big­gest changes Trenchard has seen have been in ed­u­ca­tion.

He has gone from teach­ing in class­rooms with chalk­boards to ones with so-called in­ter­ac­tive smart boards and Team­boards.

“The change is ex­po­nen­tial when it comes to pro­grams and tech­nol­ogy,” said Trenchard.

He said he can es­pe­cially see the change in his own field of spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion.

“It has be­come much bet­ter,” said Trenchard.

The spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion stu­dent in to­day’s class­room is pro­vided with a lot more op­por­tu­ni­ties to over­come their ob­sta­cles, ac­cord­ing to the teacher.

There is a co-op pro­gram, and other op­por­tu­ni­ties where the stu­dent can go out into sec­ondary schools and get sup­port.

“There are teach­ers in all of their class­rooms to help them out,” said Trenchard. “When I first started, they were iso­lated and now there is in­clu­sion, which is very good.” Re­tire­ment by the num­bers Any­one who knows Trenchard, knows he has a pen­chant for num­bers.

Ask him any time of the year how many days are left in the school year, and he will be able to tell you the ex­act amount.

In his 34 years at As­cen­sion, Trenchard has in­ter­acted with close to 8,400 stu­dents in the halls.

He’s worked with eight prin­ci­pals — Bill Hed­der­son, Wes Gosse, Philip Wood, Hay­ward Blake, Dar­rin Pike, Neil Kear­ley, Bruce Shep­pard and Fred Bullen — and 13 vice-prin­ci­pals. The num­ber of teach­ers he has served with is too high to count.

Trenchard holds high re­spect for Hed­der­son, af­ter all he was his first prin­ci­pal.

“He was a teacher’s prin­ci­pal. He al­ways had the teacher’s back and sup­ported them,” he said. “He was very fair.”

Trenchard still calls him Mr. Hed­der­son to this day.

He re­mem­bers be­ing told to chap­er­one a school dance in the sec­ond week of em­ploy­ment.

Ten­chard thought that was strange that he was told to work the dance, in­stead of be­ing asked.

“He told me two things. 1. ‘See Mr. New­man af­ter the dance.’ That meant he’d have a lit­tle drink for you af­ter; and 2. ‘ Don’t come in un­til 9: 30 to­mor­row morn­ing,’” he said.

Trenchard is also big into ath­let­ics. As­cen­sion has cap­tured 44 AAAA ban­ners in its his­tory and he has been a part of the fac­ulty for 41 of those ban­ners. It’s a num­ber he is proud of. One last go Trenchard made the decision to re­tire prior to the start of this school year. When his wife, Dianne, re­tired, he knew it was time for him to soon fol­low suit.

“I en­joyed it. It was a great run,” said Trenchard. “There was a great staff and fan­tas­tic ad­min­stra­tion. You never stand alone.”

He ex­pe­ri­enced clo­sure, when in early May, Trenchard at­tended his last grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony.

“I had mixed feel­ings. I knew it was go­ing to be my last one,” he said. “I re­flected back to my first one.

“It cer­tainly was dif­fer­ent and I wasn’t go­ing to miss it.”

Trenchard has seen both of this chil­dren, Sheileigh and Ryan, en­ter and leave As­cen­sion.

His plans once the year has ended in­clude a va­ca­tion to Australia in Septem­ber, some­thing he says will help with the ad­just­ment, get­ting back into re­cre­ational hockey and join­ing the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion.

It is some­thing he has al­ways wanted to do.

“I’m the son and the grand­son of war vet­er­ans,” he said. “My grand­fa­ther was big in the Le­gion, and I think I would like to do that.”


Photo by Gary Heb­bard/transcon­ti­nen­tal Me­dia

Jared Adams of As­cen­sion Col­le­giate of Bay Roberts gri­maces as he gets struck by a pitch from Mount Pearl Se­nior High Huskies hurler Danny Con­nors dur­ing ac­tion at the East­ern School Dis­trict’s se­nior high base­ball cham­pi­onships May 24 at Small­wood Park in Mount Pearl. Adams would later come around to score on a hit from team­mate Matthew Coombs to put the Astros up 1-0. The Astros went on to thump Mount Pearl 8-3 in its first game of the tourney. The event was sched­uled to wrap up over the week­end. For more cov­er­age, see the June 5 edi­tion of The Com­pass.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Ted Trenchard will be re­tir­ing from As­cen­sion Col­le­giate as an ed­u­ca­tor at the end of June af­ter 34 years on the job.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Re­tir­ing ed­u­ca­tor Ted Trenchard (cen­tre) give his no­tice of re­tire­ment to As­cen­sion Col­le­giate prin­ci­pal Neil Kear­ley (left) and vice-prin­ci­pal Daniel Grimes (right) on March 30.

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