For Bill Low, it was just time to move on.
The Rainy River High School principal had his retirement approved by the public school board at its regular meeting last week, effective June 30, after working 35 years in education—the last 28 here in the district.
“Cheryl and I came here in 1970 for one year,” he said, then laughed. “It’s been a really long year.”
Low said he made up his mind to retire in March although he said his decision to leave wasn’t influenced by the provincial government’s move to remove principals and vice-principals from the teachers’ federations.
“Thirty-five years—that’s the determining factor,” he said. “I had considered going another year but it’s time to let the young guys take over.
“That’s what we need right now,” he added. “An influx of young teachers.”
Low has only been principal at RRHS for the past two years after having been vice-principal at Fort Frances High School. Before that, he was the principal at Sturgeon Creek school in Barwick.
“The most interesting for me was the experience I had a Sturgeon Creek school,” he said. “The parents, the programs we had with the musicals, it was fun to go to work every day.”
But that isn’t to say he hasn’t enjoyed his stint in Rainy River. Low really enjoyed his work at the small high school, saying it was a good town to work in.
“The kids that are here are fantastic,” he said. “I’m going to miss them. I’m going to miss coaching and things like that.
“The one thing I’d like to see is to get more parent support,” he mused. “[But] I’ve really enjoyed the community.”
Although he will have no hand in choosing his predecessor, Low hoped current vice-principal Ian Simpson takes a run at the job. But his advice for whoever gets the position is simple—“Enjoy it.”
Meanwhile, Low is looking forward to retirement. He has some tentative plans already—lose some weight, do some travelling, and maybe get involved in a business or find a part-time job.
“I’m not the kind of person who can sit at home and do nothing,” he laughed, adding he had to keep active.
And like many other retired Canadians, Low plans to head south for a while—though not in your typical fashion.
“The thing I’ve dreamed of doing is to head to the Florida Keys and do some scuba diving,” he said. “I’ve been diving since 1961. It’s been a dream for me to return to the Keys.”