Revelstoke schools establish award to honour former trustee Jeff Nicholson

Donations are needed to help the award last in perpetuity

Jeff Nicholson retires at the end of the month after 19 years on the board for School District 19 (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

The Revelstoke school district has started a scholarship to honour the late Jeff Nicholson.

Nicholson died Nov. 12, 2020 from a heart attack at the age of 81. In 2018, he retired after 28 years in education, 19 of which was as a trustee for School District No. 19.

READ MORE: A lifetime in education

When Nicholson first came to Revelstoke in 1971, he took a job as a biology teacher.

He soon became captivated with biology, especially parasites.

“They lead such fascinating life cycles,” said Nicholson in a previous article with the Review.

One fond memory for Nicholson was when Dr. John Woods, a wildlife researcher from Banff Nation Park would bring animal livers to the class to dissect. The scientist wanted to see if giant liver flukes, a type of parasite, had made its way into the Columbia region. When Nicholson’s Grade 11 biology class got to parasites, the researcher would arrive with his livers and the students would start cutting.

“I remember one liver, the worst I’ve ever seen. Just a mess of tissue and a strong smell. The smell went around the school, upstairs and downstairs. The principal even came around to ask what we were doing.”

Nicholson says it was interesting to see how the children reacted.

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“Some would carry on and continue working and other couldn’t stand it. They had to go to the window and stick their heads out.”

Nicholson was known for hiking up Mount Revelstoke from valley bottom, sometimes three times a week.

“I like climbing more than walking level. It’s satisfying,” he said.

The Jeff Nicholson Life Sciences Scholarship will be administered by the Revelstoke Community Foundation, which requires $10,000 to set up the fund for perpetuity.

The award will be given to Grade 12 graduate interested in pursuing life sciences.

Since COVID-19 has restricted school trustees’ travel, the board voted to contribute $5,000 from their unused funds towards the scholarship. The board hopes the remaining $5,000 will be is raised by the community.

To make a donation to the scholarship, go to the Revelstoke Community Foundation website. In the field notes for the donation, donors can put that the money is in memory of Jeff Nicholson. The donation is tax deductible and donors will be issued a receipt.

Alternatively, people can drop off a donation at the Revelstoke Credit Union or mail a cheque to PO Box 189, Revelstoke, B.C. V0E 2S0.

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