Book highlights history of storied Penticton high school

Dave Snyder’s book chronicles the storied past of Penticton Secondary School.

With the turn of each page, Dave Snyder’s book chronicling the storied past of Pen High is like taking a spin down the hallowed schools hallways all over again.

Centennial Pen Hi: A Chronicle of a High School 1911-2013 follows the life of the school as students head into the centennial graduation class in June 2014.

“To mark Penticton Secondary’s second century is to recognize the social, academic, artistic and athletic legacy of solid public education that happened by visionary drive, determination, planning preparation and execution,” said Snyder. “Propelled with labour, as well as institutional sensitivity and optimism; these factors will be as long lasting, I hope, as the red bricks of the Ellis and the stone wall that borders the new Jermyn Avenue School.”

Snyder, a teacher at the school for 25 years, said for much of its life, Penticton Secondary School was the education, recreational and cultural heart of the community. He said this aspect of the school bringing together the community isn’t as prominent in current days.

“The school was a magnet in that use to bring people together. There isn’t a place like that anymore,” said Snyder. “I hope the book brings an appreciation of what the school has done. It does have a tradition and positive traditions tend to carry on.”

Snyder spent five years digging up photos, historical documents and information to chronicle the history of the school.He also turned to high school annuals and historic records from the Penticton museum archives. As well Pen High graduate and now city councillor Wes Hopkins provided some research.

Snyder said Pen High was blessed with long ruling principlas. In its first hundred years the school employed 17 principals. He also said the school had a dedicated teaching staff.

“There is an amazing number of former Pen High students that have returned as staff. The teachers were heavily into community involvement. You see them as city councillors and in other positions of responsibility or volunteer groups,” said Snyder.

The book is expected to be available for purchase ($45) at the beginning of December. The book can be ordered by emailing

Proceeds from the book will go to the Pen High Scholarship and Bursary Foundation.