Vicki Ives, principal for Ruth King Elementary, with Rob Tournour from Rob Tournour Masonry Ltd. (Courtesy BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association)

Vicki Ives, principal for Ruth King Elementary, with Rob Tournour from Rob Tournour Masonry Ltd. (Courtesy BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association)

Educators honour Greater Victoria businesses for improving students’ lives

Langford, Victoria businesses provide warmth, outdoor opportunities

A pair of Greater Victoria businesses are being recognized by school leaders as making a difference in students’ lives.

Rob Tournour Masonry in Langford and Victoria’s Eagle Wing Tours are among five organizations awarded for outstanding work by the BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association (BCPVPA).

The 2022 BCPVPA partnership awards recipients have responded to student needs in a variety of ways – gathering warm clothing for those in need, support for regular meals and school events, education on environmental responsibility, opportunities for outdoor recreation and a creative lesson on community stewardship.

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“These individuals and organizations are the ones who are always present in the school community and are frequently the first to pitch in or find a way to rally support for a project. They are doing their work quietly and not expecting recognition – for them, the reward is seeing local students engaged, inspired, and happy,” BCPVPA president Darren Danyluk said in a news release.

The awards recognize time and expertise residents dedicate to supporting students and schools across the province. Eagle Wing Tours was nominated by the Greater Victoria Chapter of BCPVPA (School District 61).

The family-run company, led by Brett Soberg and business partner Don Stewart since 2005, focuses on inspiring environmental responsibility by educating people about the wildlife of the Salish Sea.

“The Exploring the Salish Sea program is a partnership in every sense of the word and would not have become reality without the vision and unwavering support of School District 61. It’s a perfect fit for all. Students get a real-life learning experience in their big blue backyard. And we fulfil our long-time dream to inspire the next generation of ocean stewards,” Soberg said.

The program allows students to make an emotional connection through their learning in the classroom and on the water culminating with an event where they share their learning with a public audience at the Royal B.C. Museum. This year, 60 classrooms across 25 schools took part.

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Rob Tournour Masonry Ltd. was nominated by the Sooke Chapter (SD62). A local business that dates back decades, the family has supported community projects at home and around the world, including Another Brick in Nepal, where they constructed three schools following devastating earthquakes; HeroWork, which helps local charities renovate buildings; and sponsorship of youth sports teams.

“2022 marks 25 years in business for Rob Tournour Masonry Ltd. and for 25 years our goal has been to be leaders in our trade, providing an excellent workplace for our employees and opportunities for countless apprentices. Our philosophy has always been about community,” Rob Tournour said.

When COVID-19 hit, the company wanted to help a local school, and connected with Ruth King elementary’s appeal for warm coats for students. As time was tight to fulfil the request, the teacher asked if Tournour could instead support the school’s breakfast and food program.

He agreed, but also insisted on delivering more than 50 wrapped gifts for students and their parents in the school parking lot. The company has continued to support the food program and gift hampers.

Learn more about the other three winners at bcpvpa.org/about-bcpvpa/bcpvpa-partnership-awards.

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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