Making math fun for 31 years
Dan Hird retires from DVSS
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
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.