Celebrating the CCLCS 30th Anniversary (Part Two, The Community, Culture and Camaraderie)

CCLCS staff teachers students and childcare
CCLCS staff, teachers, students and childcare


2021 is a special year as we look back at the history and meaning of CCCLS after three decades of education services and growth of students, staff and the community. In this post, Part Two in our series, we look back at the impact of the school through the personal testimonies of the staff. Be sure to read Part One.

In a survey we undertook this past year, staff took the time to reflect on what CCLCS means to them and the community – thanks to all who contributed!

Survey questions and feedback

We asked: “What do you think about the upcoming anniversary? Please reflect on the meaning of CCLCS to the larger community and on your own experiences. What about the school stands out? What special memories do you have?” Here are the responses.

“Next year will mark 30 years for CCLCS, and 20 years for me at CCLCS. These days, that’s a long time to work at the same organization. When people ask me why I would stay so long, I say it’s not only that it’s meaningful work, but also that the school leaders respect that work, the people who do it, and the people we do it for.”

“We’ve got a good thing going on here at CCLCS. I for one am ready for many more years of meaningful work, community-building, and mutual respect!”

“I did my teacher training through CCLCS’ s TESL program 13 years ago, and I never wanted to teach anywhere else. As a long-time supply teacher before becoming a permanent member of the staff, I always felt so welcomed and supported. I’ve made many good friends through the school–there are some pretty amazing people that are dedicated to teaching newcomers, and CCLCS has managed to find many of them. The bond between a newcomer to Canada and their ESL teacher can be really special. We are like doorways into a new country and culture. Students seem to pick up on the “family” feel of CCLCS immediately. They feel the caring and support of both staff and fellow students. Over the years, I’ve seen many friendships blossom, and I know this is very important to people who are separated from family and loved ones. Looking forward to many more decades of CCLCS in the community–even though I won’t be around for all of them 😉 CCLCS is really a gem in the communities it serves. Bravo to all who have been a part of it!”

“It’s incredible that this will be the 30th anniversary! From talking to students and people I’ve met at conferences over the years, I know that our school has an excellent reputation in the LINC world. I’m quite proud to be part of the CCLCS community.”

“The work we are doing is meaningful and helpful to the community. It’s rewarding to know that a lot of people are literally living better and happier lives because of their experience with us. Yes, we help newcomers improve their English and understand the systems and cultures of this country, we teach their toddlers, and we help student teachers develop their skills, of course; we’re pretty good at doing all those things. But it’s also the way that it’s done that matters. I think CCLCS has somehow created a welcoming and respectful culture and kept that going for 30 years. Students can feel that. I’ve lost count of the number of times that students told me they felt ‘safe’, ‘welcome’, and ‘comfortable’ at our school. Many have also told me they liked the way that every student is treated fairly and with respect.”

15 years of working within this organization has left me with lots of memories.

I’ve watched and helped kids through the process of growing up, from infant to preschooler to school-age. It was always so emotional for me to say goodbye when they left for school. Every child was special to me in their own unique way, and I will always cherish the bonds we formed.”

“We also had a special bond among child care and ESL teachers. We celebrated special occasions (Graduation days, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.) together. Our administration always helped, listened to, and supported us. I can’t wait to go back to our regular rituals of getting together to enjoy workshops, year-end parties, and yummy foods.”

Thank You and Credits

Thank you to the staff who contributed and supported the school throughout our 30 years. Whether an occasional teacher, full-time teacher, childcare provider, or administrator in the office, so many have brought passion and dedication to this special place.

Special acknowledgement to the students and friends who contributed to our classes and helped us maintain a positive community.

Cheers for 30 years!

Article and production by Mike Simpson
Photos and testimonies by CCLCS staff


  1. Dawn Michael

    Thank you for putting this together, Mike. I’m touched by the emotions and experiences expressed by staff who have nurtured and sustained our community. The CCLCS community of students, staff, Board members and friends, is held together by a belief in – and respect for – our shared humanity. Thank you to all who have made it what it is.

    • Hi Dawn. It was a pleasure. I recall sending out the survey and being amazed by the responses. A lot of people care about CCLCS. It has been an important part of our lives. I hope there are at least 30 more years! Happy anniversary!

  2. Dawn Obokata

    Thanks for putting this together, Mike! I am not surprised that there are so many common things (all positive!) that people have shared. We are indeed a special bunch.

    • Hey Dawn! So good to hear from you. I’m grateful you read the article and took the time to comment. CCLCS has been a true second home for so many of us. Wishing you a great summer!

  3. Carmen Chirila

    Congratulations CCLCS! I have wonderful memories of being a teacher there! And the management including Tim and Dawn were extraordinary human beings! I miss everyone!

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