Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus has been extremely fortunate to be the homestead of Norbert Baharally’s entire career. In a detailed interview, Mr. Baharally gave insight about his 32 years as a teacher, administrator, and coach.
Q: What made you want to work in the education field ?
A: “My interest in education started when I was in my teenage years; I grew up playing all types of sports in Calgary and it led me to a physical education degree. My degree led to teaching and I knew there would be extra curricular opportunities. I knew I would really look forward to teaching students and coaching athletes.”
Q: What does your career timeline look like ?
A: “Stettler was actually my first teaching job and I've been here for 32 years. When I graduated from Calgary, it was hard economic times, which resulted in very few teaching positions. The Stettler job came up three days before the school year in September 1988 and I accepted it. My original plan was to get some teaching experience and go back to Calgary, but obviously things worked out and I decided to continue my career in Stettler. I started out as a Physical Education and Social Studies teacher, I then started working in Student Services as a Student Counsellor and still kept teaching half time. Administration was my next move, as I worked as the Vice Principal, then started my Principal job which was fourteen years long.”
Q: What did your coaching career look like ?
A: “I coached a little bit going through University, which included a couple of Football teams and a Baseball team. My foot was always kept in the door of coaching opportunities because I knew it would be something to continue. When I got to Stettler, the Wildcats Football Team had Mr. Wilson as a coach; I coached with him for a couple of years and once he retired, I became the head coach for 30 years. Other sports I have coached at Wm E. Hay include Basketball, Tennis, Track and Field, and Badminton.”
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of your job as a principal ?
A: “The toughest part of my job was the responsibility of managing a big staff. People may suspect it is the students and discipline, but that was never an issue with me.”
Q: What would you say the best part about being a principal is ?
A: “It definitely has to be the students, I loved working with the kids and watching them become young adults. Watching the students mature throughout their High School education was a part of my job that I really enjoyed. It is easy to become disconnected with the students when you are a busy administrator; that is why I would coach, greet students at the door, and other means of building relationships with the kids. The students are the reason I became an educator and will be the component of my job that I’ll miss the most.”
"The students are the reason I became an educator and will be the component of my job that I’ll miss the most." Norbert Baharally, former teacher, coach, and administrator at Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus
Q: What has been your favourite memory as Principal and Coach ?
A: “As a Principal, the modernization project that the school completed with Alberta Education was a big part of my career; just thinking about ideas and innovations that would benefit the school was a memory I’ll always have. The project consisted of adding new areas such as the weight room, cardio room, blended learning areas, learning commons. My favourite sports memory was winning the 2011 Tier 3 Provincial Football Championship; it was even more special because my son Nicholas was on the team.”
On behalf of Wm E. Hay, and our community, we thank Mr. Baharally, for his role as a leader and an advisor over his 32 year dedication to Wm E. Hay.
Riley Turre, Youth Reporter