Leadership at the Nova Scotia Community College, Pictou Campus, will be different in 2020.
Campus principal Dave Freckelton has retired and the community gathered at the college last week to congratulate him.
Freckelton spent 41 years at the college in a handful of different positions and the community lauded him as an inspiration and change driver for the campus and its many students over the years.
The new retiree was celebrated in the newest wing of the school that he was instrumental in having built. Attending the celebration was a number of colleagues from the college and community groups that he is involved in.
“I’ve been so lucky,” said Freckelton. “I’ve been blessed because I have a job where I can transform students from one door to another.”
Freckelton shared that it was a tough decision for him to retire as he genuinely enjoys his job; however, after a health scare last year he said it helped put things in perspective. He is also looking forward to getting to spend more time with his children, grandchildren and wife.
Having began as a teacher then an academic chair Freckelton then moved to the position of principal of the campus where he has been serving the school and students since. Along with many other initiatives, he was instrumental in many projects that connect the college to the community around it as well as the large undertaking to add an innovation wing on to the campus in the last few years.
“There are times I walk out of here at 5:30 and look back and get overwhelmed with where I’m at,” Freckelton said. He added that he is leaving the college in a good place with the hopes that whoever takes on the role next will be able to take things to the next level.
One of his proudest achievements as principal, he shared, while working in conjunction with the community, was the semester that the college took in the former Westville High School students when they were unable to use their building after water damage. The college was able to accommodate the students in a wing that was shut down from college classes. He recalled that everything worked out well and it allowed the college to be a help to the community when it was in need.
A number of speakers took to the microphone during the gathering to talk about how they know Freckelton and the generosity he has shown them and many others. Tears were shed as the president of the campus Student Association bid farewell to the principal who greeted her on her first day of classes the year previous and has helped her in many respects since then as well.
“I felt a lot of love in the room today,” smiled Freckelton.
Dave Freckelton, NSCC principal, cuts his retirement cake after a 41-year career with the college. (Brimicombe photo)