After 35 years in the education system, 31 of them in the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District and 29 as a principal, life is about to change for Alan Harrison.
Harrison, a popular teacher and principal who has impressed parents by each year learning the names of every student in his school – and greeting them by name when he sees them – will be retiring at Christmas from his position as principal at Hillcrest Elementary.
“It’s been fantastic. I’ve loved every minute of it, and I figure it’s a good time to leave while I still love it,” he says.
Gord Ritchie, the vice-principal at the Jackson campus of Salmon Arm Secondary, will be filling the Hillcrest principal position come January.
As a city councillor for many years, Harrison, 58, has been asked often recently if he’ll be running for mayor when he retires.
“I’m considering that – I’ll take some time in January, February and March to consider…,” he says.
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Asked what he’ll do with his free time, he says he’s looking forward to skiing at Larch Hills, playing some daytime hockey and going running on the waterfront.
“I’m especially looking forward to those kinds of things.”
Once his spouse Debbie retires, they hope to do some travelling.
Harrison says he has watched friends like Barry Dearing pass away and he wants to make the most of his time.
“You never know…”