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

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Ucluelet says goodbye to town’s only sports bar

“It started off big and we’re on the backside of the mountain now.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Four Tofino businesses up for Vancouver Island Excellence Awards

Tofino’s business community is shining with four Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards… Continue reading

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Most Read