Students’ First Tours of Vic High April 5, 2024

Students’ First Tours of Vic High April 5, 2024

Happy Vic High Leadership Students help lead classmate tours.

Finally! Vic High students inside the real Vic High. Teachers and staff had spent two hectic days getting classrooms organized, and were very excited to introduce their students to this stunning ‘new’ school. Bright hallways shone, new collaboration spaces beckoned, and many heritage touches did not go unnoticed by eager students.

860 students had gathered early in the Memorial Stadium, waiting for teachers to gather them up and lead them inside where Vic High Alumni members were on hand to greet them as they made their way to homeroom classrooms. Principal Aaron Parker’s voice rang throughout the school, welcoming students and directing them to their first  Tour Station. Teachers and alumni co-presented information at each station, as Leadership Students led the groups throughout the school to each station. By 12:30 it was time for Fernwood Pizza slices and Jones sodas in the Multi-Purpose room.

Principal Parker and former Vic High Principal and active Alumni member Keith McCallion shared heartfelt stories in the Auditorium about the spirit of Vic High, the alumni whose names appear on plaques where students were seated, and the unique culture of our school. Alumni members were thrilled to co-present and share a bit of their history at Vic High:  Randi Falls and Keith Forshaw, former Principals, Alumni Board members Helen Edwards, 1964, Roger Skillings, 1968, Ian McKinnon, 1966, Nita Loudon, 1966, Linda Baker, 1969, and active volunteers Mary Anne Skill, 1975, King Lee, 1958, and Pam Madoff, 1972.

Students were very happy, there were smiles everywhere, and were very impressed with their new digs. Many dropped into the new Archives and Museum, where volunteers are already welcoming opportunities to share Vic High’s World War 1 history with Grade 10 students, and to work with students who have already volunteered for Archives projects. Alumni Association members were thrilled to be participating. “It was a wonderful experience,” says Board Chair Helen Edwards, VHS 1964. “I got to speak with so many students who were very interested in the Alumni, in what we do, and who want to be on the email list to receive our newsletter.”

It was an extraordinary, amazing day. Just 15 days short of a full 110 years after Vic High students walked on April 20, 1914 to their new Vic High from their old school on the grounds of Central School. April 8 classes resume at Vic High Fernwood and it will be hectic at first. This school is so much bigger and better equipped than temporary S.J. Willis (Vic High Topaz Campus) had been, and none of the current students had ever set foot inside this Vic High. But so many wonderful new opportunities for students abound here: robotics programs, broadcast media lab, astronomy viewing deck/outdoor classroom, two gyms and an auditorium, an expanded Learning Commons (library), genderless washrooms, a new turf field with numerous volleyball courts adjacent, an attached community centre, and so much more. And yes, Virginia, there will be tours. But first, we let Vic High staff and students catch their breath and get on with their learning priorities. Stay tuned!

Auditorium presentation

VP Sara Reside & students,  Leadership students, Some happy Grade 12 students

Astronomy viewing deck/outdoor classroom

Drama room, Pam (drama teacher) and Keith Forshaw, alumnus & former Vic High Principal


Students, and alumnus Ian McKinnon, 1966, in the Learning Commons (library)


Presentations in the Multi-Purpose Room – also attached to the new Community Centre


Welcome Room, Sam Spetter, Careers, and Inclusive Ed. teacher Christine Trumpy, and Freida.


Former Princpal Randi Falls, Admin staff Nicky Reid and Brigitte Ackinclose


Heritage Classroom, some happy students, the Girls’ Entrance (east side of bldg)


Fairey Tech Concourse, ramp.  Fernwood entrance with indigenous-inspired artwork.