Wayne Spencer — known in educational circles as a rebel with a cause. And his cause was career training opportunities for students.
Not as romantic as James Dean, but Spencer’s made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of Shuswap-area students.
Spencer, the now retired educator and district career supervisor for School District #83, was honoured for his dedication and leadership in promoting the trades and technology career programs with an honorary membership in the Career Education Society of B.C.
He was referred to by presenter Greg Howard as a rebel, because he thought outside the box and never let anyone, no matter their job title, stand in the way of creating programs that benefited kids.
“It was always students first with Wayne,” said Howard at a brief award ceremony. “He took the initiative to go after whatever was best for the kids of the Shuswap, Salmon Arm area.”
Spencer brought the career program from infancy to the successful district-wide program for students it is today, which is recognized as one of the top programs of its kind among the 60 school districts.
He was instrumental in bringing the technology and trades programs, including the trade apprenticeship programs, into the district.
Howard said the decision to give Spencer the honour was unanimous.
“You are a leading district and that is to your credit,” he said.
In what speakers noted was his typical fashion, Spencer deflected some of the praise to his colleagues and support from school board trustees.
“It was an awesome team. They make you look good.”