College of Education Class Notes
Coffee Talk with Leonard Hart
Early in April, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Mr. Leonard Hart, a former teacher, College of Education Grad and new resident of the Preston Park Retirement Residence Community. Mr. Hart will be celebrating his 80th birthday this year and recently celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary!
When I inquired about his childhood Len explained that he was born and raised on a farm in Shell Lake Saskatchewan and attended the local school until grade nine, when he was forced to stop attending. Len’s family was struck with hard times and was not able to afford to put him through high school, but even such a young age he knew the value of education and was able to find a way to continue his schooling through government correspondence. Eventually Len was able to return to school to complete his high school diploma, and he spent much of his time at school helping other students with their science and math work. It was at this point that Len began to think about the possibility of becoming a teacher.
In 1955, after working various odd-jobs, Mr. Hart was asked to help out in the school as a study supervisor and gladly accepted. He was able to enjoy the value that his assistance brought to the school and students and decided to attend the Saskatchewan Teacher’s College. Upon receiving his diploma, he accepted a position teaching grades 3-8 in a one-room school house, where he happily worked for three years before moving to Spiritwood to teach grades 7 and 8 and run the sports program.
In 1962 he met and married his lovely wife Mary, with whom he would eventually have two children. From then until 1970, he periodically took summer school and night classes at College of Education, until he earned his Bachelor of Education Degree. From there he was asked to move to Rosetown to become the school Principal. He conditionally accepted the offer with the parameter that he would still be able to teach classes. Mr. Hart explained to me that once you have the experience of being a teacher, you need to teach in order to have a fulfilling career. He continued as the principal and a teacher in Rosetown for the next 20 years.
Upon retirement, Len and Mary spent time in Arizona, on cruises, and travelling. In 2012 they decided to take up residence at Preston Park Retirement home in Saskatoon, and have been enjoying their time since.
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