Smiles of students a highlight of a long career

Shirley Galloway retires after more than three decades with Saanich School District

Brentwood Elementary Learning Assistant Fiona Mosher shares a book of memories created by students with Shirley Galloway during her retirement tea on June 24. Galloway has worked at the school for 32 years and has been with School District 63 since 1979.

After 34 years with the Saanich School District and 32 years at Brentwood Elementary, Shirley Galloway is hanging up her many hats.

Galloway, who works in the office of the school, is known to many as the cement of Brentwood Elementary. Her last day at the school is today (Friday) and a retirement tea was held for her Monday afternoon along with an assembly that included the whole student body on Tuesday morning.

“She is loved so much by everybody in the school,” said Coral Fast, Galloway’s daughter who also works in the school as an education assistant.

“She’s been in the community for so long and so many students and co-workers have been through the school since she’s worked there. She’ll really be missed.”

Galloway began her time with the Saanich School District in 1979 at Royal Oak School. She was part of an initiative called the Chance program which was a government funded program catering to students with special needs.

Galloway also spent time at Cordova Bay Elementary school before moving on to Brentwood Elementary in 1981. She has worked there ever since.

“The reason I’ve stayed here as long as I have is the kids,” Galloway said.

“I’m really going to miss them and their smiles. The best feeling is when you know one of them is having a bad day and just needs someone to talk to or lean on. When you see that smile it’s amazing.”

One of the most rewarding parts of her job she said, is seeing students she saw go through the school return to the school with children of their own.

“When I see them come back as adults with their own children, there’s a certain amount of pride in that,” she said.

Galloway, who will be 70 in August, said she will miss her coworkers, who she calls family, but said she is looking forward to spending time with her grandsons in her retirement.

“I’m really just throwing myself to the universe,” she laughed.

“But I’m really going to miss Brentwood. It has become my family, especially all the teachers and staff.”