By Kimberley Harvey, Director of Senior School
This year, we are saying goodbye to an incredible woman in our community who many of you have been fortunate to call your teacher, teacher advisor, coach, role model, inspiration, colleague, confidante, or friend. At the end of June, Tinker Allester, will begin a new chapter in her life and retire from York House School after teaching here for 34 incredible years.
Thirty-four years ago, in 1982, the Commodore 64 computer was launched and the first CD player was released by Sony. Time Magazine named “The Computer” as the “Person of the Year” that same year. The movies ET and Fast Times at Ridgemont High led the box office. Olivia Newton John had us getting physical and Joan Jett had us loving rock n roll. Michael Jackson dominated the charts with Thriller, which became the best-selling album of all in time.
And, while we know that in the last 34 years, there have been great shifts in technology and music, the one thing that has remained constant at YHS is the commitment, support, and fun-loving approach that Ms. Allester has brought each and every day to her students and our community. As one student shared with me, “Ms. Allester’s infectious positive energy can easily brighten anyone’s day just by being in the same room as her. She is one of the kindest, most fun, and happiest people I know, and York House will not be the same without her.”
Certainly, seeing Ms. Allester ride to and from work every day has inspired us all to live healthier lives. She always has a smile on her face and will give a wave, and often a hug, to anyone close by. Ms. Allester has been an incredible role model for living a healthy, happy, and meaningful life. She is known for being an outstanding PE Teacher who lives by example. She only asks of her students what she is willing to do herself.
Tinker has always taken a holistic approach to teaching girls about the importance of fitness and nutrition and their connection to mental and emotional well-being and will be remembered for introducing a strong Women’s Wellness unit as part of the Grade 10 PE program. Inspiring others has been a theme in Ms. Allester’s life. An athlete throughout her life, Tinker has brought her love of sport to Physical Education at York House School.
She has helped all girls embrace PE, even those who did not think of sport or fitness as an interest. As alumna Devon Pletcher shared with me, “When I came to York House in Grade 8, gym was my least favourite class and because of Ms. Allester that has changed.”
As an educator, Tinker has made a positive difference in the lives of so many of her students. I’m sure that Grade 11 student Margaux Smith will always remember, as she set off from the school on her 65-day cycling adventure across Canada, that Tinker was there with her for the first day of her ride.
When our students are in hospital, Tinker would go to to see them. When our students were performing or had an important game, she was there to provide her support and encouragement and to celebrate their work. Tinker has inspired our students, through her humble, yet confident and engaging personality. When she shared her incredible experience of walking El Camino de Santiago in Spain in 2013, it certainly had an impact on me and many of our teachers.
We all know that although Tinker is retiring from this amazing professional career as an educator, she will continue to be an inspiration to those around her!