Three new teachers have arrived in Nakusp, and over the coming weeks, Arrow Lakes News will be profiling each one.
The first teacher is Sheena Delong, the art teacher at Nakusp Secondary School, and the Aboriginal Education Support teacher at Nakusp Elementary School, Nakusp Secondary School and Edgewood Elementary School.
ALN: What got you into teaching?
Delong: I was inspired by my high school art teacher. I loved art, I’ve always loved the subject. In high school, when Mrs. Lundeen taught me, it was like “I want to do this, this is amazing.”
ALN: You went travelling. Why did you go?
Delong: I nannied off the Gold Coast [in Australia], and then my friends came out, and we basically lived in our car and drove up the coast to Cairns, and then I went back to the Gold Coast, and found a job there, and just worked and lived there. It was awesome.
ALN: How did you hear about Nakusp?
Delong: I started filling out my paperwork for B.C. because my contract was expiring in Sherwood Park (Alberta), and I really wanted to get that done, because our goal was to actually move to the Kootenays. I was hoping to find a job eventually, I didn’t think it would happen that quick. I saw the posting for an art teacher in Nakusp. I actually had never been to Nakusp, but we had travelled, south of here, Slocan and New Denver. My husband has an uncle who lives in Procter, so we always come out every year in the summertime.
The job was posted online, and I applied, and was really excited that they called me back, and I got the position.
ALN: What attracted you to the Kootenays?
Delong: We just love this area. We like to be outdoors, we like rock climbing, we like a lot of the values, and the down to earth people, and growing your own food, and all that kind of stuff. We’ve always had similar values to this area in particular, so we were always drawn to the Kootenays, we always wanted to live here, and we finally made it.
ALN: You’re three weeks into the school year, how are things going?
Delong: They’re going really good. It’s busy, and there are a couple of new things I’m doing that are a bit different, so just getting stuff up and going is busy. The students are fantastic, and the staff is wonderful, I’m really happy here.
ALN: What are the students working on in class right now?
Delong: In class, they’re working on mostly portfolios, different types of art work. A lot of it is open media, so I have some students painting, some students drawing, using pencil crayon. Wer’re just kind of getting started with drawing, and then we’ll move into more specifically painting, and then sculpture.
ALN: Do you see yourself staying here long-term?
Delong: Yes. We bought a place, this is where we want to be. Out of the Kootenay area, this is my favourite. When we came and looked at places, I was pleasantly surprised that it was this place in particular, because it’s one of my favourite little towns.