This week marks my last at St. Charles School. I started there in August of 2011. When I began, I was coming into a difficult situation. The June previous, the assistant principal died unexpectedly.

I knew Helen. I knew her as a literacy guru: the former language arts consultant in our district. When I entered my office for the first time – Helen’s office – I found many of her books left by her family. Books that had been flagged, written in and ear-marked. Books she had used to ground her practice, guide her staff and spark discussion.

The last few days as I started to pack up my belongings, I flipped through Helen’s books once again. I have referenced them many times over the years. I discovered Helen’s thoughts as I read the notes she left behind. Following in her footsteps, I was both honoured and intimidated. How could I possibly live up to her legacy?

Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” Helen, I hope I planted a few seeds and did you proud.


3 thoughts on Legacy

  1. Oh Karen! What a sweet post.

    I remember those first few weeks, after Helen passed, well myself. That office has had the privilege of housing two of the finest literacy gurus I’ve ever met. It was an honour to work with you both. I guarantee you made her very proud. All the best in your new adventure

    L. Peacocke

  2. You by far have left your own legacy! For someone who wears so many hats in our school, even though you forget the hat and do not like to wear them…you will forever be remembered. It has been an honour working with you and so excited to see where and how your future pans out. You will truly be missed and forever remembered!

  3. What a privilege you were given to follow in the footsteps of a person who obviously cared about literacy. And you rose to the challenge: what a tribute to Helen, a blessing for staff and students at St. Charles . Now you are passing the torch to the next person who occupies the space of your office, hallowed ground created by people who care about education, educators and especially children.

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