CODE is far more than a collection of resources, a website or a conference. At its heart, it is a community of caring professionals who support each other in good times and bad. We celebrate our successes and grieve our losses as one.
CODE mourns the loss of a long-time CODE member and one of the province’s most outstanding elementary drama and arts teachers, David Wasse, of London. He passed away on Saturday, March 27, which was rather appropriately World Theatre Day. David taught at London’s Pearson School for the Arts from the day it opened and retired in February 2013 after a cancer diagnosis. Pearson recently dedicated the David Wasse Drama Studio in his honour.
Well-known London theatre director John Gerry said “The fact he ... touch[ed] the lives of a lot of students and share his passion about the arts speaks volumes about the man. He loved teaching and the students loved him. He taught dignity and respect. He touched a lot of lives.”
David was married to fellow drama teacher Bronwyn Powell, and leaves five children and one grandchild. He and Bronwyn met at a CODE conference. They tell exactly the same story of their meeting, when each saw the other at the conference dinner. Each said to him/herself “That’s the person I’m going to marry.” And they did, happily and for many years.
When I was asked by Curriculum Services Canada to find exemplary drama teachers to be filmed as part of their support for the arts, David was one of my top picks. The results are spectacular and are part of my pre-service Junior Intermediate course at Brock University. Many students have commented to me about David’s teaching artistry and how much they learned from him. You can see David in action at http://www.curriculum.org/arts/creative.shtml.
Please join those CODE members who knew David personally to celebrate his life and legacy. A memorial will be held on Saturday, April 18 at 2 pm at the Aeolian Hall in London.
Ron Dodson, former CODE president
Photo credit: Ross Davidson, Special to QMI Agency