This is a letter from Okanagan Falls Community Partners to Okanagan Falls Elementary School principal Garry Southerland upon his retirement.
OK Falls Community Partners is an organization of leaders from Okanagan Falls community groups and service clubs whose purpose is to work together and to support one another in helping to make OK Falls a better community. You have been among this group of leaders and have represented OK Falls Elementary School so well during your time as principal.
A principal’s job is a difficult one. He is responsible for the needs of the school children and their parents. But when you bring the community into the mix, it takes a special kind of leader to balance the educational needs of the students with the expectations and demands of the community. While some might see only problems in maintaining this delicate balance, you have embraced the community school philosophy, and, instead of problems, you have seen the many possibilities and opportunities that have presented themselves for the benefit of the school, the children and for OK Falls.
Garry, Community Partners has enjoyed the many opportunities you have given us to be involved with the school, and we have loudly cheered and been extremely proud of the school’s many achievements.
You have left a wonderful legacy for OK Falls.
Community Partners would like to congratulate you on your well-earned retirement, give to you our best wishes for what we believe will be a wonderful new chapter in your life, and especially, to thank you for your work with the children and the community of Okanagan Falls.
Bob Daly, chair
Okanagan Falls Community Partners