May 7, 2021 Message to Members

Name That Tune 

Some time ago, I wrote about my first job with a hamburger chain. For a very short time in my teens, I found myself asking “Do you want fries with that?”, even though I pictured myself more as a Keg waiter (“Hi, my name is Darren, and I’ll be your server this evening.”) Servers at the popular steak house always seemed to be enjoying themselves – a lot – and I heard the tips were great. Unfortunately, The Keg failed to recognize my potential and turned me down – more than once! Peddling burgers and fries didn’t last long though because I very quickly accepted the offer of a job at our local record store.    

I really enjoyed helping customers in a retail record store. I particularly liked the feeling of connecting them with music they had been unable to find. It was especially rewarding when a customer would come in looking for a song, but unaware of its title or the name of the recording artist. The encounter usually flowed into customers singing to me, some with more skill than others. You could say it was a talent cultivated during my misspent youth – countless hours listening to all genres of music, from pop to metal to classics – but I could usually identify the elusive song in a few lines. The best part was pulling out a copy of the song and playing it for the customer. The dawning look of recognition, joy and satisfaction which emerged was my reward.    

I couldn’t get enough of that: the vibe of helping someone find their tune, serving up what they’ve been seeking. It isn’t a great leap of the imagination to recognize this same vibe in the dawning looks of discovery on the faces of learners when the key finally turns, or the missing puzzle piece slots into place. As a teacher, this reward keeps me coming back, year after year. I guess I became a server after all.   

In this week which celebrated both teachers and R2D2, I had the great pleasure to co-host a book club formed around Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe’s Calm Within the Storm. I won’t unpack her book here, but registration is open for session two and session three (attended by Dr. Hanley-Dafoe). I mention Robyne to share a comment she made while we prepared for the club.  When reflecting on her own work and the directions she has chosen, the answer to a simple question led to fulfillment: “Who do you wish to serve?”   

My answer led me to a classroom, to a school office, and ultimately to the Board of the BCPVPA. I find the reward of servant leadership to be powerful and fulfilling; the months spent in my current role have only cemented this experience, with a constellation of connections to Principals and Vice-Principals throughout the province. Each week you have kindly made space in your day for my voice though this written medium, and I am grateful. This week, I wish to abbreviate my own words, and make space for the words of others wishing to serve.   

A worthy slate of nominees is seeking the support of our membership in the elections for President-Elect and Directors on the Board. The speeches of our President-Elect candidates will be presented at today’s Chapter Council, and we invite members to view the campaign speeches of all of our candidates, linked below along with their Candidate Statements.   

Today’s Chapter Council is also our last for the school year. In a way, it demarks the mid-point of my time in this role. To quote a member’s observation from the Fall, “The days seem to pass slowly, but the weeks are flying by!” Aren’t they just. It has been a privilege serving our members through the Fall, Winter, and Spring, and I look forward to serving you in the cycle of seasons to come. If you can’t quite name what it is you are seeking, hum a few bars for me, and I can probably help you out.        


The BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association is a voluntary professional association representing school leaders employed as Principals and Vice-Principals in BC's public education system. We provide our members with the professional services and supports they need to provide exemplary leadership in public education.

Search our web site:

© 2023 BC Principals and Vice-Principals Association