Elementary schools in Sooke have a lot to celebrate this month.
Along with Grade 5 students finishing up their final year in elementary school, one teacher is also closing a scholastic chapter after a long career teaching in Sooke.
A celebration will be held on Thursday (June 18) at Poirier Elementary School to celebrate Linda Jeffries’ retirement. The event runs from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Sandra Arts, a colleague of Jeffries who is helping organize the event, said anyone who knows Jeffries and would like to wish her well is welcome to join the event.
“Linda is one of the longest serving teachers in Sooke schools,” said Arts, noting Jeffries has taught around 20 years at Poirier and before that at Saseenos.
“She is dedicated, passionate and well-loved at Poirier.”
Normally, a tea and lunch celebration is held to commemorate retiring teachers, but this time the school had to get creative.
“We wanted to make sure people had an opportunity to wish her well,” Arts said.
The event is set to be a drive-by parade, but there will also be an area outside set up for people to stop by and talk with Jeffries.
A second celebration is set for Friday (June 19) to commemorate all the elementary school graduates who are moving in to middle school this fall.
The drive by parade will take place from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. from Church to Otter Point roads, where students will line the sidewalks near Village Foods and wave at those passing by.
Tess Valley, principal at Poirier Elementary, said she wanted to help hold the parade for students to have closure on their time in elementary school.
She believes it will be a great alternative to the celebration usually held for graduating elementary students, and it will include more of the community, staff, and students.
“We are inviting parents and community members to drive past and help cheer them on for their completion of Grade 5 and their excitement to move to middle school,” said Debra Stoutley, principal of Sooke Elementary School. She noted Journey Middle School will also have a presence at the event.