Barriere Secondary (BSS) Aboriginal Education Worker Don Bowser is shown during the Apr. 3, 2019, Day of Sucwentwecw assembly at the school holding up a handmade drum with a new logo that was created by Barriere Secondary and Simpcw First Nation grade 8 and 9 students that depicts BSS and Simpcw working together as a unit. (Jill Hayward photo)

Don Bowser: Retires from the same school he graduated from 41 years later

Students are now out of school for summer vacation, and even though a good portion of this school year has been impacted by COVID-19, plans are already being put into place for staff and students who will be returning in September.

However, one staff person not returning in September due to recently retiring, is Barriere Secondary’s Aboriginal Education Worker, Don Bowser.

Bowser resides in the community of Chu Chua, and is a well-known member of the Simpcw First Nation.

It is interesting to note that Bowser’s career in public education started when he graduated from Barriere Secondary in 1979, and now – some 41 years later – his retirement has taken place at the same school he graduated from.

Bowser’s career with School District 24 began when he was hired in September of 1988 to support students in both the Brocklehurst Secondary and AE Perry Elementary schools where he worked for eight years. The school district then changed due to amalgamation and became known as School District 73.

Bowser was then shifted to working only at AE Perry where he continued for another seven years. In 2003 he began working at NorKam Secondary which continued for nine years, followed by five years at Bert Edwards Science and Technology School.

Bowser’s most recent posting as Aboriginal Education Worker has been much closer to home – at Barriere Secondary for the past three years..

The role of an Aboriginal education worker in the school system is to provide general support to Aboriginal students by assisting with academic, cultural, social and emotional support, and Bowser has consistently and commendably supported the students, staff and communities of the school.

Many of Bowser’s co-workers and students are quick to commend him for the caring and dedication that he has provided throughout his career.

“When Don came to Barriere Secondary he was able to combine his vast experience in education, culture and community,” stated Barriere’s vice-principal Mark McVittie, “The knowledge, caring and wisdom that Don brought to those he worked with was always appreciated and will be missed, but we know Don will always be counted on to continue to support the Simpcw and Barriere community.”

Barriere Secondary secretary Kris Luison says, “Don deserves to be acknowledged. He is a local Simpcw First Nation educator that has made huge advances in the student’s First Nation cultural involvement at the schools he’s been in. It was wonderful having him here at Barriere Secondary, and we wish him all the best in the future.”

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

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

No new COVID-19 cases for the first time in weeks: Interior Health

Hospitalization also down to zero across the region

Chase RCMP seek information for decade-long missing person investigation

Shayne Murray Robinson’s truck was found abandoned by the Barriere RCMP detachment in 2010

Clearwater and Barriere welcome new reverend

Clearwater and Barriere have a new reverend, Bruce Chalmers, who will do… Continue reading

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Most Read