With this year’s Gryphon Magazine focusing on the school’s newly defined values, it is truly an honour to recognize and thank Dr. Barbara Hofmann, a beloved teacher at Aberdeen Hall from 2007 to 2021.
I cannot think of an employee, past or present, who better exemplifies the school’s values, and we are so grateful to have had Barbara as part of our community for 14 years.
In my first year at Aberdeen Hall, we were in our old, rented schoolhouse on Acland Road, offering classes to less than 100 students, and I received a resume from Dr Hofmann, who had decided to relocate to Kelowna. Imagine that; a PhD interested in teaching at our new little school. I was excited!
A few weeks later, Dr Hofmann came out for an interview and to teach a trial lesson with the Grade 5 Science class. I clearly remember the exact location, and where I was sitting to observe in the classroom. Dr. Hofmann taught a lesson on electricity, and more specifically on circuits, voltage and current. I don’t remember all of the content of the lesson, but I clearly remember her caring and professional approach, and the highly engaged students. It is this gentle and caring demeanor and incredible attention to detail that make her a very kind person. Her alignment of personal values and teaching practice was, and still is, an incredible example of integrity.
As the school grew, Barbara exhibited a tremendous sense of optimism and positivity. While on bootstrap budgets, she kept her lessons exciting and rewarding for the students and never once complained about anything. Such an admiral quality, because in the early days of the school we had many challenges.
Perhaps Dr. Hofmann’s greatest legacy at Aberdeen Hall was her dedication and devotion to the numerous annual science fairs, often with 3 or 4 in one year (Valleys, Provincials, and even Nationals). In addition to leading our school’s budding scientists, she would also sit on the various associations’ planning committees etc. Middle and high school teaching positions are challenging, and Dr. Hofmann’s continued devotion, both inside and outside of the classroom, exhibited and incredible sense of responsibility and resiliency.
Still to this day, when I run into past parents or alumni, one of the comments I hear most often is how much everyone enjoyed Dr Hofmann’s attention to detail, follow-up, execution and approachability. Parents and alumni also comment on how Dr Hofmann’s classes fostered a sense of scientific exploration and curiosity.
As a consequence of Covid-19, we were unable to celebrate Barbara’s significant contributions to Aberdeen Hall as is our tradition. We hope by shining this light on her many attributes that everyone in our community will have an opportunity to know just how amazing she is. The best news is that Dr Hofmann is thriving in her new role as an associate professor in the School of Education at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC.
By Chris Grieve,
Head of School
At Aberdeen Hall, we seek to admit well-rounded students who choose to be at our school. We are looking for students who demonstrate leadership through academic performance, involvement in co-curricular activities and civic engagement. We care about our students and seek those who value education and are prepared to enrich our incredible school community.