Get to Know the Ridley College Faculty: Mr. Park ’80

We have amazing teachers here at Ridley College. They’re passionate about learning, have a great sense of humor and truly love what they do! We decided to ask teachers a few questions in order for you to get to know them better.

First up is Mr. Geoff Park, he is a graduate of Ridley College (an Old Ridleian), a soccer coach, and a math and social science teacher. But that is not all! He is a former housemaster of Arthur Bishop East, he loves to play squash and his two children are also graduates of Ridley (his wife Stephanie works in the Admissions Office – she’s pretty fantastic herself!).  If you have ever come in contact with Mr. Park you will know that he’s a great guy, but enough from me, lets hear from Mr. Park:

1) What did you take in University? Why did you pursue this?
I began in Engineering but realized I wasn’t mechanically minded; I wanted a people job. So I switched to Education and could choose a subject that was interesting. Geography has always been an interest, so it fit the bill. My engineering allowed me to be a Math teacher as well.

2) Did you have any other interesting  jobs before coming to Ridley?
Agri-crews: I worked on a team with 5 students going to do different farm jobs. We spent about two weeks training vines at a vineyard that later became Cave Springs Winery. I also had a job in the City of St. Catharines Planning office, working on promoting residential intensification downtown.

3) What do you teach/coach/involved in at Ridley College and why do you love it?
I teach Geography and Math, and love the variety. Canadian and World Issues is my absolute favourite. I coach soccer and squash. I love both sports. I play them both, coach them, live and breathe them. Coaching is the reason I started teaching. It merges my love of teaching with my love of sports.

4) What is your passion? What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love many sports; soccer, squash, tennis, golf.

Mr Park (far left) at a Ridley Alumni Squash Event
Mr Park (far left) at a Ridley Alumni Squash Event

5) What do you love most about Ridley?
I love getting to know students on various levels (it is not just a classroom relationship). Interactions on playing fields and bus trips, in the houses, etc. add to the connection.

6) Favourite place to go in the Niagara Region? (restaurant, tourist spot, any place!)
Swiss Chalet! Frescos, Bansaree.

Yes - this is Mr. Park at camp taking the plunge on the zipline  - can we add daredevil to his list of qualifications!
Yes – this is Mr. Park at camp taking the plunge on the zipline – can we add daredevil to his list of qualifications!?

7) Any funny stories about your time at Ridley?
The duck in the chimney. When I was a housemaster a duck ended up above the damper in the chimney in our living room. I’m not sure how it got there or how long it was there. One evening I was talking to some parents in my office. My wife knocked on my office door, apologizing, saying there was a duck flying around our living room in a panic. By this time there was some damage to the curtains and a bit of duck blood. Fortunately the parent was a farmer. He came in and calmed everything down, including the duck, and caught it. We put it in a box, and he took it home to his own duck pond.