As he gets ready to welcome students to Lake City Secondary School in September as the new principal, Curt Levens is excited about things getting back to normal.
“It will be our first year post-COVID,” he said. “There will still be some protocols, but we will have sports back fully and we can even have assemblies.”
This year’s enrollment is anticipated to be over 800 students at the Williams Lake Campus alone, which is at least 50 more than last year.
Some new students are coming from out of town, others that left to go to GROW/Skyline are returning and students from outlying communities will be transferring to take Grade 11.
“We are really full,” he said.
Craig Munroe is moving over to be the full-time principal at the Columneetza campus, whereas for the last few years he was the principal of both campuses. There will be one vice-principal at each campus as well.
Williams Lake is where Levens was born and raised by his parents Paul Levens and Katy Kosinski. He has three sisters: Paula Levens, Becky Kosinski and Kandi Kosinski.
He attended 150 Mile House, Cataline, Anne Stevenson and Columneetza schools, graduating in 1989.
He loved and played sports, playing a bit of everything, especially soccer and basketball, attending tournaments and provincials.
Immediately out of high school he went to the University of British Columbia and completed a bachelor of arts, with a major in geography and a minor in sociology.
Not sure what he wanted to do next, he worked running pubs and restaurants until his late 20s when he decided to return to university for a year to obtain his teaching degree.
“It was time to do it, I had been putting it off.”
His first teaching job was at Alexis Creek where he stayed for four years and commuted from Williams Lake every day.
From there he became vice-principal at 150 Mile Elementary School, followed by principal at Big Lake Elementary School, vice-principal at Williams Lake Secondary School for three years, vice-principal at Lake City Secondary School at Williams Lake and Columneetza campuses for four years, then principal at GROW/Skyline for three years before returning to Williams Lake campus as vice-principal for one year.
“I do love it,” he said of working in education. “I enjoy connecting with the students and observing their success stories. They graduate and go on to do different things. It’s great to see them excel.”
He also enjoys the staff he works with, describing them as “collegial.”
An athlete at heart, he continues to play hockey, golf, curling and mountain biking, but in some areas is slowing down. He was not able to play indoor soccer last season.
“I have knee issues so my doctor told me to stop the soccer,” he said. “I have had several surgeries but I haven’t had to have any recently. But they just add up after time, all the scars and everything.”
He is married to Alli Levens, who owns The Mantel, a store in Williams Lake that sells home décor, bed, bath, kitchen products and unique gift ideas that opened downtown a few years ago.
The Levens have a daughter, Brooke, who is in her second year of university in Kelowna and a son Boston who is in Grade 11 at the Williams Lake Campus.
Access to ample outdoor recreation opportunities of the Williams Lake area continue to be enjoyed by Levens and his family.
They love camping with friends and family, hiking and fishing, biking and going to their cabin at Horsefly Lake or different lakes around Williams Lake.
“I really like this community,” he said.