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Helen (Nelson) Snider recalls delightful school memories including plane at Pinecrest and Lou Leverton’s roses at QE

Helen (Nelson) Snider

I was delighted to hear of plans for the Queen Elizabeth School and Pinecrest School Reunion to be held on June 8th, 2019, and congratulate Kathy Reed and her QEMA Committee for this very special initiative.

I have many fond memories of my 33 years as an educator with the Prince Edward County Board of Education where I began as a kindergarten teacher at Queen Elizabeth School under the leadership of Principal Carl Reid in 1965.

It was an exciting time in education when open concept classrooms were introduced to students and their parents at Queen Elizabeth School and it was a fascinating learning curve for teachers and children at the time.

I also have wonderful memories of teaching at Pinecrest School under the direction and mentorship of Dan Rainey who encouraged all of us young teachers to become highly professional and competent educators.

I will never forget the day the airplane arrived at Pinecrest School to become a remarkable addition to the playground and the children’s hands-on learning experiences.

We were an energized team of educators at Pinecrest and many of us have followed each other’s careers with interest and remain good friends to this day. Students, teachers, and parents were privileged to share very happy years together at Pinecrest School.

I returned to Queen Elizabeth School as Principal towards the end of my tenure with the Prince Edward County Board of Education. One of my fondest memories of being Principal was (believe it or not!) noon yard duty where I could enjoy getting to know each child at play and to appreciate the expertise and commitment teachers made to their students every day.

The delightful annual musical productions led by Moira Nikander-Forrester with the willing support of teaching staff and parents will always remain a special part of our years together at QE.

Ron Everall, Sue Mackay, Cheryl Benson and other staff members who are no longer with us, have left their remarkable imprints for all time on the legacy of Queen Elizabeth School and in our hearts.

Lou Leverton’s beds of roses along the front walk into QE, and the care he took as he nurtured them, will always be embedded in our collective memory. Thank you, Lou !

I left Queen Elizabeth School in 1996 to enjoy an administrative position at the Canadian International School in Singapore and later completed a Doctorate in Education at Boston University.

I am truly grateful for the opportunities and mastery of skills that Queen Elizabeth School and Pinecrest School allowed us, as educators, to attain over the years.

Our ‘teacher days’ were focused on helping students to attain their individual potential and meet their goals. When we meet former students and colleagues, in passing today, there are always big smiles and hugs, and many wonderful heartfelt memories to share.

Enjoy a reunion well deserved and very special.

Dr. Helen (Nelson) Snider

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