Central school stalwart retiring after 25 years

Barbara Garland has been a teacher for 31 years; 25 have been spent at Mission Central

Central teacher Barbara Garland is retiring this year

Central teacher Barbara Garland is retiring this year

Spending a quarter-century educating at the same school has a number of benefits according to Barbara Garland.

She has been teaching the children of former students, and her longevity at Mission Central School helps many parents to trust her methods.

The popular Grade 1-2 teacher is retiring this year, ending 25 years at Central, and 31 years teaching.

“I did a lot of moving in my life,” she said. “But after my second son was born, I wanted to start putting down roots. I like the stability of being in the same place. And I feel like I can offer something — that I can be of help to my students.”

The high-energy and dedicated educator has adorned her classroom with a myriad of colourful student artwork, and educational posters, and you sense she could tell you who crafted each piece without searching for a signature.

Her connection to her students is strong, and she has embraced the First Nations culture of the school, which has been folded into a number of things at the school including ceremonies, activities and artwork.

Where many teachers would prefer to teach one grade, Garland enjoys the splits.

“The students you’re teaching may not clearly be Grade 1 or 2 in their ability,” she said.

Having both age groups allows her to implement a number of her own teaching strategies and methodologies to help all her students succeed.

“It’s a continuum of learning.”

Garland is originally from Ontario, and taught for two years immediately after earning her teaching certificate. Shortly after marrying at 21, she stopped working and attended Queen’s University full-time to earn her bachelor’s degree, something that wasn’t required when she first started teaching.

Educating the next generation has woven itself into the fabric of Garland’s identity, satisfying her artistic desire to be creative and contribute to society, which explains why the long hours are taken in stride.

“I do what I personally feel I need to do, to feel like I’ve done my best,” she said.

Not surprisingly, the children are what she will miss the most come September.

“I love this age group. The way their little minds work, their innocence.”

But she will revel not arising early, nor filling out report cards — something she admits to agonizing over each time — and is looking forward to returning to singing, exercising, travelling and cooking.

“It’ll be my new art.”


• All invited to Garland retirement tea June 15

Former students and colleagues of Barbara Garland are invited to her retirement tea on Friday, June 15 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Please confirm your attendance by calling the school at 604-826-1414 by Monday, June 11.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
Abbotsford care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Morning mist clears over the Hope Slough at Camp River Road on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Sunny skies in the forecast for Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Rain and wind expected Sunday night through Monday morning, then clear skies

LEFT: Krista Macinnis, with a red handprint across her face that symbolizes the silencing of First Nations people, displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
RIGHT: Abbotsford School District Kevin Godden says the district takes responsibility for the harm the assignment caused.
Abbotsford school district must make amends for harmful residential school assignment: superintendent

‘The first step is to unreservedly apologize for the harm … caused to our community’: Kevin Godden

Spiritual senior begins journey as author, 3 years after near-fatal accident in Mission

Donna Gibbons to publish ‘Haunting in Hatzic,’ the 1st in a series on her life as a medium

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Elissa McLaren broke her left elbow in the Sept. 20, 2020 collision. (Submitted)
Surviving victims of fatal crash in Fraser Valley asking for help leading up to Christmas

‘This accident has taken a larger toll financially, mentally and physically than originally intended’

Most Read