For Tim Storm, teaching will always begin and end with Stelly’s secondary school.
“It’s such an amazing place to teach,” said Storm, who will retire at the end of June after a 27-year career, all of that time at Stelly’s. “I’m very lucky because there’s nowhere I’d rather be.”
Storm, who grew up in St. Catherines, Ont., teaches science, social studies, geography, earth sciences and law. He originally spent two years as a police officer with the Waterloo Regional Police in the 1980s because teaching jobs were scarce in Ontario. After he met the woman who would become his wife at a rowing competition, he followed her back to her Vancouver Island home and started teaching at Stelly’s.
“Those two years of policing certainly helped when it came to teaching law,” he noted.
Storm ranks being part of the Global Perspectives program at Stelly’s for the past 15 years as the highlight of his career. The two-year program for Grade 11 and 12 students is a course unique to Stelly’s that aims to create positive change in the world. It is a voluntary course conducted outside of the regular school timetable that earns credits for the participants.
As part of the program, Grade 11 students have prepared and served dinner on Wednesday evenings at Our Place for the past 15 years. Grade 12 students have embraced the global concept by spending 18 days over spring break completing a variety of projects, including building a cancer clinic in Belize, six schools in Peru and this year, replacing a school that was destroyed by the massive earthquake in Nepal.
“The students put on a massive fundraiser that raises $20,000 to $25,000 to fund the projects every year,” Storm explained. “Our mantra for Global Perspectives and Stelly’s is ‘Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.’ I know a lot of schools do amazing things, but what our students accomplish through Global Perspectives at Stelly’s is truly remarkable. The support from the students and community and their enthusiasm for the program is overwhelming, and very rewarding.”
Storm also coached the rowing team at Stelly’s for 17 years, taking three teams to the Canadian national high school championships during that time.
Retirement plans for Storm include more travel, and more time to work on playing music and songwriting, which he incorporates into the learning experience for his students. One of the constants Storm will carry into retirement is what can be accomplished through teamwork, a constant recurring theme in his life.
“It’s the students, your colleagues and the community that make great things happen,” he said. “I am grateful to all of the people I’ve been able to be part of so many great teams with. I also want to give a big thanks to whoever nominated me for Great Teachers.”