Frances Kimpton retired from teaching at Windermere Elementary in 1988.
However, she never quite left the school after that.
On May 5, staff at Windermere Elementary invited parents and Kimpton to a library lunch, where a silver plaque was unveiled on the wall.
The plaque was printed with “Kimpton’s Corner” in lovely calligraphy, to honour the individual’s volunteer work in the school and, especially, the school library after she first retired.
“I’m speechless,” said Kimpton after the unveiling.
Kimpton’s 35-year teaching career began in Vancouver. She later went on to teach on exchange in England, Marysville and Kimberley before teaching at Windermere Elementary in the mid 1960s under the name Frances Felker.
“When I first came here, there were three teachers, including me,” said Kimpton. “There was no library, and the staff room and main office were very small. In those days, we’d have announcements about locals’ goats and pigs being in the school field. I remember one student rode horseback to school and tethered the horse to the bike rack.”
While teaching at Windermere Elementary, Ms. Felker became Mrs. Kimpton.
Kimpton has a fond memory of one student’s reaction to her name change while she was teaching a Grade 2 class.
“I remember it perfectly; I put my name on the board and said, ‘My name is Mrs. Kimpton,” Kimpton explained. “And one boy looked at me for a while, and then said, ‘You know, you look just like my old teacher’.”
When Kimpton retired in 1988, though, her work at the school did not stop.
“I enjoyed the kids, I really liked the school, and as far as I’m concerned, this is the best school in the Valley,” Kimpton said.
Kimpton began substituting at Windermere Elementary after her retirement, then began to volunteer at the school library every two weeks, then every other week.
“They needed help here, and there was no full time library help,” Kimpton explained. “And a librarian doesn’t just teach about books, but computers too. So I did that, and I would put the books on the shelves in order and help kids find books.”
An outside circumstance has forced Kimpton to take a break from her volunteer work.
However, she hopes to come back and help at the library again as soon as she is able to.
“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it,” said Kimpton.