Ken Hurn Bursary in Elementary Education

Ken Hurn

Mrs. Joan Hurn created this award in memory of her late husband, Ken Hurn, to celebrate his dedication and love of teaching. It is hoped that this bursary encourages and enables aspiring teachers to follow in his footsteps.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Ken spent 33 dedicated years as an educator and administrator in Victoria School District 61. Active in sports all his life, Ken loved and excelled at swimming, which he taught, coached and actively competed in until shortly before his death in August, 2007.

Ken’s educational philosophy not only included the traditional “3Rs”, but an additional two – Responsibility and Respect. His teaching was exemplary, but so also were his abilities in character building. Ken lived his beliefs by encouraging talents and abilities in his students, academically and by leading and supporting many extra-curricular school activities, including athletic teams (swimming, basketball, badminton, athletics, gymnastics), drama productions, musical endeavours and community service. Over his 33 years, he taught at Lampson Street School, Lansdowne Junior High, and after adding a vice-principalship to his duties, at Quadra Elementary, Willow Elementary and Oaklands Elementary. At Willows, he introduced the “open area” teaching concept for grade 7 students. Later, as a principal, he pioneered the “more structured” traditional Sentinel Elementary and closed his career as principal of Hillcrest Elementary.

Ken had the uncanny ability to recognize and remember the names and faces of almost every student he ever taught. Many were the times he was approached on Victoria streets by an adult claiming, “I’ll bet you don’t remember me!” to which he would reply, “How are you doing, (name)? I haven’t seen you since grade 5 at Quadra!!” Even in his early retirement years, the ring of the 9 a.m. school bell would draw his memories back to the schoolyard – so he returned to UVic to work as a student-teacher evaluator and mentor to young teachers.

Ken was sincerely committed to his Victoria community. He served as Recreation Commissioner at Oak Bay, leader/instructor at the Victoria “Y”, member of numerous GVTA committees, elder at Oak Bay United Church, President of the Oak Bay Optimist Club, and the Oak Bay and Parents Association, the Victoria and District Referees Association, and was largely responsible for the organization of aquatic events at both the 1988 Oak Bay/Victoria BC Summer Games and the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games. He was a Shriner and reveled in his participation in the “scooter” unit as well as his duties in securing funding for children with significant medical needs.

In retirement, Ken used his well-honed “classroom” voice and congenial people skills in becoming a Marriage Commissioner. He presided over more than 3,000 weddings in 17 years, often marrying former students.

Ken ad few health concerns, but they were major ones. In typical fashion, he turned his misfortune into a glass half full when, after open heart triple bypass surgery in 1977, he qualified and taught CPR and became an active member of the First Open Heart Society, visiting patients in hospital who were facing similar futures.

Throughout his life, Ken believed deeply in children and family. He was a loving husband, devoted father of 3, adored Gramps to 7 grandsons. As one of his grandboys said, “The world needs more Ken Hurns”. It is with this belief that his loving family and legions of friends honor his memory with this bursary – hoping that another young teacher will follow in Ken’s footsteps as “Mentor to many, Friend to all”.

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