Wednesday, 16 September 2015

"The Best Hot Dog in Town"
Mr. Brad Mellor's  Address
Staff Appreciation Dinner
September 11, 2015

This past weekend, the staff at Rundle College Society were treated by our Board of Directors to our annual 'Staff Appreciation Dinner.'  At this annual event we come together to celebrate our 10 Year Club Members, our 25 Year Club Members.  Beyond these celebrations, we also have the opportunity to hear from one faculty member who gives an address based on our Mission Statement.  This year's address was delivered by Mr. Brad Mellor.  I have included the complete text below:

"First off I would like to thank our board for hosting such an incredible night. I’m fortunate to have attended a few of these and I’m always amazed of the culture of Rundle College and how appreciated they make the staff feel.  I’d also like to thank Dr. Evans for inviting me to speak about our Mission Statement in which I’m most honored to do and thank you Dr. Evans for asking me in August, late August that is so I didn’t have to stress over this the entire summer.  

The task of choosing and reflecting on a word or phrase from the Mission Statement is much more difficult than one would think. The first thing I had to do was actually read the Rundle College Mission Statement….not that I haven’t read or heard of it before…... but when you’re given the task to write a speech about it, then you really have to read it…...and it goes a little something like this;

The Mission of Rundle College is to create a nurturing, engaging environment that provides an enriched, personalized education, preparing students for an ever changing world. 

Rundle College will- help students discover their potential, challenge them to attain their best and to celebrate with them when they do.

Ok, such incredible vision found in the Mission Statement. So it would seem simple enough in the beginning to choose a unique, never been done before word or phrase but some of you should remember that phrases like celebrate, discovering potential, life in the 21st century, nurturing environment, sound basic education and personalized education have all been done before in previous Mission Statement Speeches.

So the question you ask, what’s left? Well, challenge them to attain their best has never been used and I would like to break the phrase down to a single word and for me that would be the word best. Ah…so many images are conjured up when you think of the word best. Whether excellent, effective, or desirable type or qualities. So what’s the first thing or image that you think of, when you hear the word best?

Well for me I instantly thought of a place called Hot Doug’s.  Now before you jump to conclusions Hot Doug’s is legendary Hot Dog venue and encased meat emporium that I’ve been lucky enough to visit in Chicago as we have family who live there. So if you’ve heard about Hot Doug’s you know that it is pretty special, memorable, incredible, iconic hot dog stand, in a city that prides itself on over 300 restaurants exclusively serving the hot dog. It’s story was simple, it’s legendary purveyor and head Chef Doug Sohn created the idea in the late nineties to serve affordable gourmet food to the public which kick started a food revolution across North America. Doug Sohn was already a well established chef doing very well but he challenged himself with this new old idea. The idea wasn’t to make money or to create a franchise or to be showcased on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations or Triple D… was to create the best hot dog anyone could ever make. One can order exotic ingredients from the menu such as alligator, fois gras, Calvados Infused Duck, White Wine and Dijon Rabbit  to name a few. His idea may have been simple but at the time completely ground breaking. Even if you can go and grab a dog on any street corner, why not choose a place that uses the best resources and enjoy a better product. Maybe even the best.

I couldn’t help to relate the story of Hot Doug’s to Rundle College. Now if you know your Rundle History well and even better if you’ve  read Dr. Conklin’s “A Cottage that became a Campus” like I did this late August you can make the link.

The story of Rundle College was based on it’s founders Dr. William John Collett and Dr. Robert Conklin. By 1985 both of these gentlemen had very distinguished careers. Dr. Collett was a minister and educator who later became President of Mount Royal College while Dr. Conklin received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and was a professor at the University of Calgary. In the late 1970’s they teamed up together providing many educational services to school boards within and outside of Calgary.

Both men, educators and successful leaders in the community didn’t have to start a school. Both men were literally at the top of their game, true pioneers in Alberta education. But something within them made them want to create something different, a new old idea. A vision and with this vision a mission for  a school that at first could reach out to those who struggled in regular school but later a school that was simply the better choice to so many.  And I think we all agree that Rundle College can be considered one of the best school’s in Alberta, maybe the country.

As educators within Rundle College we have a unique opportunity. We get to work within this vision and Mission Statement of Rundle College’s founders. We have the rare chance in education to teach in the most incredible conditions. A place for students to truly achieve their best. Whether small class sizes, world class facilities, fantastic technology, meaningful pd and most importantly…..the most helpful and caring people from Administration, society to support staff. This unique opportunity gives us the chance to lift our students a little closer to the potential of them reaching their best whether social emotional, artistic, athletic or academic.

Like most of us at Rundle we go to work everyday and are fortunate enough to see the best within our students struggling and persevering but finding a way to reach their goals.

We see the best families who choose Rundle College as a safe and caring place for their kids to grow up.

We see the best when so many Rundle teachers send their own kids to the Primary and Elementary and Academy. 

I see the best in education as I write this speech and look next door on a Saturday morning at my teaching partner Chris Paz working diligently on his students IPP’s.

I see incredible educators everyday such as the Academy Math and Science departments opening their doors at 7 am for extra help.

Or the Humanities department making the Outsiders, Shakespeare and Globalization relevant to a student’s everyday life.

You can see the best at Rundle whether watching Academy volleyball to Rundle Cobra’s Friday Night Lights. Or when the the kids travel the globe with Rugby or when they win Provincial Championships such as Laurel Adolphe’s Basketball team. Not to mention Neil Domstad’s legendary wrestling team simply known around the city as “the program”.

You can see the best creativity on the stage or on the walls from all the hard work students and staff deliver from the Fine Arts Programs.

I see the best when Jason Rogers and Dave Hauk present publicly and how they instantly make every staff member feel at ease.

I see the best everyday in the incredibly bright and positive faces of the new teachers that have joined our campuses.

I see the best board a teacher could ever ask for have who ensures that staff are appreciated each year with this fabulous dinner.

Perhaps…..maybe in the future a gourmet hot dog could be served on the menu."

Mr. Brad Mellor
Runlde Academy Faculty Member Since '02

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