After nearly three decades of teaching, Fort Saskatchewan High School's Glen Christenson has retired.
Christenson's first year as a teacher was in 1993. He switched careers after learning about a transition program for tradespeople offered by the University of Saskatchewan.
He made his way to Fort High about 15 years ago and became the school's art teacher.
Some of his career's brightest moments have been giving his students experiences through various groups, clubs, and even tours through Europe.
"We took students to the mountains twice a year, we would usually take from 18-30 students, and we would go hiking and camping and swimming and do that for three days in the spring and three days in the fall. Those trips were always really memorable," Christenson said.
The Travel Club at Fort High allowed Christenson to show students places like France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, and England. Through the Theatre Appreciation Club, they made six trips a year to the Citadel Theatre to take in shows and learn the different components of live theatre.
"Just the experiences that I was able to put together for students were really rewarding."
The biggest challenge of his career was navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it had on students' mental health.
His advice to any new teacher is to be flexible, as there will always be curveballs. He passed on the wisdom his mother-in-law bestowed on him of being aware of the "educational fad," which occurs every so often with policymakers focusing on what kids are learning in schools.
"I think as teachers, you just have to be flexible and say, yep, we'll give this a try, and this is what we'll need to adopt or adapt these new ideas," he explained. "I was lucky enough to teach art which has a curriculum that's quite outdated, so it gave me quite a bit of flexibility to interpret that and teach art the way I wanted."
Christenson officially retired in March and has no shortage of art projects to work through, and he joked that he has about fifty years of projects ahead of him. In addition to painting and drawing, he enjoys sculpting, woodturning and assembling light fixtures.