Len Sitter, B.A. (Brandon), B.Ed. (Winnipeg)
Teacher (Retired), St. Paul's Jesuit High School (1970-2003)
Len graduated from Campion High School in 1963.
From his home in Portage La Prairie, Len was about to embark on a new chapter and new lifestyle. He joined 250 other boarders to rise in the morning, to go to “…mass, eat cornflakes and toast, and shuffle along to a short study period.” Then, onto class where they would collide with 300+ Day Students, “a ritual better known as Survival! And those who couldn’t figure out how to size people up quickly and get by on ‘street smarts’ were left to perish in this confluence of raging hormones!”
As a new Campion high school student, Len recalls encountering such a wide array of different personalities. Relationships made there would set the groundwork for how he would make future ones. He emulated Influential students and staff both, admiring their character: “What’s more, the bonds of friendship that were formed during my time there have remained steadfast, in spite of time and distance; there are many fellow students that I still count among my closest friends.”
And, if embarking on this new college life included experiencing adult privileges a bit early, then Len and his friends had a mischievous idea for that. He recalls:
“…we had a plan: we wouldn’t shave for three days, don fedoras, and wear long coats. Then we’d head down to one of the beer parlours by the Regina rail yards. Once in, there was no problem. The real test was returning to Campion before 12 am, passing an inspection by the vice principal, and hopefully not throwing up in the staircase leading to the dormitory. If we could get away with it – success!”
In Winnipeg, Len enjoyed a long, 33-year tenure at St. Paul’s High school. He held many roles: from football and basketball coach to director of athletics, and on to be the vice principal:
“As someone who spent his career as an educator, it is clear that my years at Campion had helped to formulate my approach relating to and connecting with students at St. Paul’s. When I am asked what I taught, I often respond that ‘I taught boys to become young men.’”
His time at St. Pauls’ was not only his career, it became his way of life; he cherishes values learned at Campion High School with deep gratitude and the opportunity given him to teach others:
“…the Jesuits have provided the rich traditions of 500 years of faith-based excellence in Catholic education, helping young men (and women) develop themselves to serve others. It has been their guidance and supervision, which has transformed 14-year-old, self-centered adolescents into caring mature adults. Thank you Jesuit Fathers.”
Len now lives in Calgary with his wife, Carole, close to their daughter Jennifer and family. Their son Mark and his family live in Toronto; and daughter Kathy and family live in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
He also enjoys attending St. Paul’s class reunions. They give him the chance to make contact with the thousands of students he has taught over the years: “It is gratifying to see not only how well they are doing, but also how much they are giving back to their communities, wherever they reside. This is a true reflection of the Jesuit values of being ‘Men for Others’.”