Mike Hooker riding the first propelled floor cleaner in the district. “I broke a piece of it trying to drive it into a socials class, that was my last ride,” laughed Hooker. (Photo contributed by Mike Hooker)

Mike Hooker riding the first propelled floor cleaner in the district. “I broke a piece of it trying to drive it into a socials class, that was my last ride,” laughed Hooker. (Photo contributed by Mike Hooker)

Mike Hooker retiring after a decade as superintendent of the Revelstoke School District

Revelstoke School District to appoint new superintendent for the 2022/23 school year

Mike Hooker is retiring after 33 dedicated years in education, including 10 years as the Superintendent of the Revelstoke School District.

He leaves behind a legacy of maintaining the high standards in Revelstoke as one of the top performing districts in the province and guiding the district through one of the most challenging periods in recent memory.

READ MORE: New school year in Revelstoke presents new challenges and opportunities

Hooker was a Revelstoke kid, for a few years at least. He attended the old Selkirk School from grades 1 to 3 while his father managed the local Coopers.

The old Selkirk School, built in 1911 on Sixth Street East. Hooker attended the school for two and a half years as a youth. The school was eventually demolished in 1983. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives)

The old Selkirk School, built in 1911 on Sixth Street East. Hooker attended the school for two and a half years as a youth. The school was eventually demolished in 1983. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives)

In 1989, Hooker started teaching Grade 5 in West Vancouver after graduating from school.

When it was time for the next step in his career, he wanted to move his young family to a smaller community. He found an opening in the place he spent a few years as a youth.

“I thought ‘we’ll go check it out’. Then two years went by, then four years went by, and then five years went by” said Hooker. “I’ve never taken anybody up on an offer to even send out a resume ‘cause it’s just been such a special place to work.”

He started working in Revelstoke in August 1997 when he was appointed as Principal of Arrow Heights Elementary. In 2004 he became the Principal of Revelstoke Secondary School.

“The contact with kids at the high school principal level was the most rewarding of all the work,” said Hooker.

In 2013, Kindergarten teachers Sonia Gagne and Linda Dickson gave Mike Hooker a “Zero the Hero” mask and cape and asked him to ‘superhero’ into the classes to celebrate the 100th day of school. “I have been doing it in February every year for each of the K classes in the district – This year at CPE on my was to the K class a grade 5 student said ‘Hey, I remember you,’ then then she looked me up and down and said ‘you’ve really stepped up your outfit’,” said Hooker. (Photo contributed by Mike Hooker)

In 2013, Kindergarten teachers Sonia Gagne and Linda Dickson gave Mike Hooker a “Zero the Hero” mask and cape and asked him to ‘superhero’ into the classes to celebrate the 100th day of school. “I have been doing it in February every year for each of the K classes in the district – This year at CPE on my was to the K class a grade 5 student said ‘Hey, I remember you,’ then then she looked me up and down and said ‘you’ve really stepped up your outfit’,” said Hooker. (Photo contributed by Mike Hooker)

In 2013, he took on a new role as Superintendent when Anne Cooper retired from the position after 14 years of service.

“Revelstoke is kind of special in that way,” said Hooker. “Lots of boards will have a changeover every couple of years. Revelstoke’s had 24 years with just two Superintendents.”

Hooker has since guided Revelstoke schools through 10 years, including the difficult times the community faced due to closures and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: The digital generation: The evolution of technology in Revelstoke schools

In March of 2020 he communicated to staff that he felt like the focus and attention to relationships would be the key to getting through the pandemic, and says that the board and staff should look back and be proud of the way they handled themselves during those difficult times.

“Anybody that comes from outside the community recognizes that there’s something really special about the cohesion in Revelstoke schools,” said Hooker. “It doesn’t matter what school they go to, they’re getting a similar quality experience.”

Mike Hooker attending a session with students for the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership Team on Health and Well-Being. “I always loved surveying students to find out what they were thinking - we got together after in groups to look at what they said, and what they thought they could do about it, and what they thought schools should do,” said Hooker. (Photo contributed by Mike Hooker)

Mike Hooker attending a session with students for the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership Team on Health and Well-Being. “I always loved surveying students to find out what they were thinking - we got together after in groups to look at what they said, and what they thought they could do about it, and what they thought schools should do,” said Hooker. (Photo contributed by Mike Hooker)

In his letter to the Revelstoke Board of Education announcing his retirement, Hooker said, “I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to work and live in such an amazing community for so many years. I’ve always looked forward to coming to work in an amazing environment full of great people.”

Board Chair Bill MacFarlane emphasized that, saying “Mike has worked hard to develop and maintain strong partnerships throughout our school community. He cares deeply about the students and staff and has a reputation for putting relationships first.”

Hooker emphasized how fortunate he feels to have had so many caring and creative people to work with over his career in Revelstoke. “This is an amazing school district thanks to having such a supportive community, great students and, in my opinion, most importantly, talented, caring staff and thoughtful, reflective trustees,” said Hooker in his retirement letter.

Looking back on his career, Hooker said that the moments that stand out to him the most are the times when a former student would remember him years after graduation. Even the most difficult students would show him appreciation for how he impacted their lives.

The Board has begun the process to recruit and hire a new superintendent, and they hope to announce who that candidate will be in early May, with an anticipated start date of September 1st, 2022.


@josh_piercey
josh.piercey@revelstokereview.com

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