From the “Strong Start” sign on the outside door to the “Wheel of Choice” poster (containing proactive problem-solving ideas) on the inside wall, Raft River Elementary School presents a variety of visuals that reflect Colleen Topolovec’s heart toward children. With this in mind, it is easy to ascertain why the students at Raft River Elementary School are responsive to her love of teaching.
Topolovec has accepted the vice principalship of Dallas Elementary in Kamloops. Topolovec says, “Kids have a way of making the world more fun!
Given that this is her belief about young people in general, it is not surprising to hear what one of her students expressed about his vice principal. He said, “What can I say about Mrs. Topolovec? She’s nice, helpful … even when I’m sad. She has a nice heart. She reaches out to kids.”
Similar thoughts are shared by her coworkers and one added, “Before she was a vice principal, as a teacher Colleen was always the person who went above and beyond for the students.”
When inquiring as to what Topolovec’s favourite aspect of teaching has been she stated, “The kids!” She added, “I have always admired the energy and enthusiasm they bring to learning.”
Topolovec mentioned that her favourite subject to teach is any aspect of Language Arts. She also noted, “I love creative writing and showing children how important it is to communicate clearly through the written word.”
Topolovec’s desire to broaden children’s knowledge and understanding has also been noticed by her colleagues. When asked about any salient personality traits specific to Topolovec, a coworker responded, “She (Topolovec) is a visionary and sees the bigger picture. She also has an incredible memory, and can remember conversations verbatim.”
This is a positive attribute, particularly when working with children. The coworker stated, “Colleen is able to put a child’s best interests first, even after they’ve messed up. She sees the whole person … what the person is capable of.”
After being asked if there is anything she would wish to say to her coworkers and the community, Topolovec reflected, “Just that I will miss them all dearly. Clearwater has been a wonderful place to live over the last 12 years.”
With her teaching experience, a sense of humour, and a heart to look for the bigger picture, it is easy to understand why Topolovec’s coworkers and students agree that Clearwater’s loss will become Sun Peaks’, and Kamloops’ gain
– Melody Hauser