Mak­ing math fun for 31 years

Dan Hird re­tires from DVSS

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

There was an emo­tional send off on Fri­day morn­ing at DVSS as the stu­dent body and fac­ulty paid trib­ute to a col­league as he en­ters re­tire­ment.

Dan Hird has taught at DVSS for 31 and half years. Come the end of Jan­uary he will be re­tir­ing. The stu­dent body and staff gath­ered in the gym­na­sium to take a mo­ment to rec­og­nize his ca­reer and also wish him well in his re­tire­ment.

Ja­son Ras­mussen was taught by Hird and is now a col­league.

“He pours him­self into his job. And he does that for you and for me. The amount of re­spect that you guys have for him, and I see it and I hear you talk about him when you think we are not lis­ten­ing. That is the same kind of re­spect that all of the staff here in this room have for that man as well,” he said.

Angie Gill was once a stu­dent of his and is now a col­league. She cred­its Mr. Hird with her love for vol­ley­ball. In fact, there was one vol­ley­ball trip that has be­come leg­endary, as teacher Dawn Sul­li­van, re­counts hav­ing the team get stuck in a snow­storm.

“We got stuck in Ponoka. Imag­ine be­ing stuck with 10 girls on a vol­ley­ball team. Back in the day, Yavis’ used to have a mo­tor home and we took it for the road trip,” she re­calls. “Mrs. Gill prob­a­bly re­mem­bers push­ing that mo­tor home out of snow­drifts in Ponoka. Mrs. Gill prob­a­bly re­mem­bers how ev­ery­body got a lit­tle stir crazy in the ho­tel room in Ponoka. Mrs. Gill prob­a­bly re­mem­bers how they ran out of money, and I bought break­fast at the Arena, at $3 a plate. Mr. Hird and I laugh a lot about this.”

While he was in­volved with ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, it was his knack for mak­ing math fun and see­ing stu­dents achieve, that he was known for the most. In 2011, he re­ceived the Al­berta Ex­cel­lence in Teach­ing Award.

“He ex­em­pli­fied life­long learn­ing. If you talk to Mr.

Hird, he likes to watch shows and do things where he is con­stantly learn­ing new stuff. I think we can all learn from that and I am sure he will con­tinue to do those same things, ” said Gill.

In fact, in re­tire­ment, Mr. Hird says he wishes to keep work­ing on math.

“I love math, … so right now I know I will spend some time learn­ing some new math and also learn­ing gui­tar,” he tells The Mail.

He was touched to hear from those he has taught and worked with over the years.

“Teach­ing, you are in a class­room with a bunch of peo­ple but you are not in that class­room with your peers, they re­ally don’t know what you do day-to-day. When you get that kind of recog­ni­tion from them, it is re­ally spe­cial,” he said.

He says there is some­thing spe­cial in this school com­mu­nity where stu­dents re­turn to be­come teach­ers.

“It is kind of cool about our com­mu­nity. We have five teach­ers here who were stu­dents when I started teach­ing, and there were four or five teach­ers (for­mer stu­dents) when I was a stu­dent. The re­cy­cling of peo­ple is a phe­nom­e­nal thing this com­mu­nity has, and I look back on those years as a stu­dent, right un­til now. Our stu­dents have ben­e­fited from this with a great ed­u­ca­tion.”

Fish­ing might be in his fu­ture too as Prin­ci­pal LaPierre pre­sented him with a hat adorned with fish­ing flies.

He had some part­ing words for the stu­dents.

“The most im­por­tant thing is to find some­thing you love to do. Work is a four-let­ter word you do for the rest of your life. You re­ally want to find some­thing you love be­cause time goes by very, very quickly.”

The most im­por­tant thing is to find some­thing you love to do. Work is a four-let­ter word you do for the rest of your life. You re­ally want to find some­thing you love be­cause time goes by very, very quickly.” Dan Hird

mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Math teacher Dan Hird ac­cepts a gift from Prin­ci­pal Cur­tis LaP ierre last F ri­day at an assem­bly at DVSS. Mr. Hird is re­tir­ing af­ter 31 and a half years teach­ing at DVSS and the school pop­u­la­tion t ook a mo­ment to hon­our his ser­vice and wish him well in his re­tire­ment.

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