Hesquiaht’s 1-room school dream assignment for new teacher

For teaching with a challenge, check out a tiny one-room school with 10 students from grades 1 to 7. That’s the ride teacher Rhonda Stark has been on. Stark spent her first year of teaching in the 2013-2014 school year at a one-room school in Hesquiaht.

Next stop, adventure for the Stark family. They’re settled in at Shanghai, China, where Rhonda will teach Grade 2 at Shang Yin Primary School, a Canadian international school. It’s a boarding school for grades K through five, with students mainly from China, Korea and Japan.

The leap from Hesquiaht to Shanghai will be quite a step, said Rhonda’s husband, Keith Stark.

“We’ll go from a population of 45 to a population of 27 million,” he said.

There, he will study exercise physiology, with the goal of becoming a personal trainer.

“It’s a private school with a high fine arts focus,” said Stark. Their oldest son is looking forward to dance instruction at the school’s full dance studio – something he had when the family lived in

Victoria but missed out on at Hesquiaht.

All said, Hesquiaht was a great adventure for the family, said Rhonda Stark, a native of White Rock.

“The kids were amazing and the families were really supportive,” she said. “It was a great experience – we did a lot of hands-on fun activities.”

She took the group to Victoria for two days in a caravan of three vehicles.

The key to success when teaching such a broad spectrum of students?

“You need patience to be able to multi-task and continually be able to pick up where you’ve left off with every student,” she said.

There are 160 First Nations schools in B.C. – not many with as few students as Hesquiaht, she said.

Stark, who holds degrees from the University of Victoria, helped the school get certified by the First Nations Schools Association, which means it is now eligible for reciprocal funding from the B.C. government.

Her husband Keith said Hesquiaht was an amazing community to be part of. “It’s just a very close-knit community, with some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. After knowing them for a year, they became – for want of a better word – family,” he said.

Above, Rhonda Stark, husband Keith and their kids, aboard their sailboat prior to move to China.

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Ahousaht Fire Department always at the ready

“Under stressful situations we come out at our best.”

Tofino honours volunteer firefighters with award

To have the community support you, say ‘Thank you,’ and recognize you, just really means an awful lot

UPDATE: Sea lion rescued in Ucluelet suffering from gunshot to the head

“It does look like there’s some pretty serious metal density in his skull.”

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Most Read