After 40 years of teaching, beloved Ecole Margaret Jenkins School teacher Steven Toleikis is retiring on Dec. 31.

Mr. T. hangs up his tie

Beloved Victoria teacher with Oak Bay ties retires after 40 years of teaching

After 40 years of teaching, beloved Ecole Margaret Jenkins School teacher Steven Toleikis is retiring on Dec. 31.

Toleikis, who students refer to as Mr.T, has been a favorite with both students and teachers alike. The popular educator, famous for his colourful neckties, has received hundreds of letters and cards over the years from children and families letting him know that he has changed their lives. Former students keep in touch and often make return visits to his classroom. To his colleagues, Toleikis has been a model of support, professionalism and integrity.

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Toleikis graduated in 1972 from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications & Theatre. After immigrating to Canada, he first worked as a child care worker with special needs children. Later, Toleikis enrolled in the Faculty of Education at UVic, graduating with a Dip. Ed. (specializing in Primary education) in May, 1977. He began his teaching career with SD #61 that same month in a class of children with communication and sensory integration disorders at Sir James Douglas School. Since then his career has taken him to teach diverse populations in schools all over the District. Later, he returned to UVic part time, graduating with an MA in Educational Psychology in 1991. From 1991 to 2006 he taught at Monterey Elementary School. In 2006, when Monterey became a middle school, Toleikis moved the few blocks to Margaret Jenkins Elementary where he has continued to teach the children of South Oak Bay and Fairfield.

A highlight of Toleikis’ career was winning first prize in an essay contest for teachers. He wrote about how to teach science by harnessing children’s wonder and hunger to know. He won an all expenses paid trip to the Canadian Space Agency in Montreal. He received cutting edge science instruction, learned about the Canadarm and met astronauts. A photograph of him taken with Astronaut Chris Hadfield remains one of his great treasures.

Toleikis has also had an active volunteer life in the community. He served on the Oak Bay Centennial Committee – his name appears among those on the Oak Bay Centennial Clock on Oak Bay Avenue.

There will be a retirement celebration held at Margaret Jenkins School on Thursday, Dec. 7. If you are interested in attending or have any stories or memories to share, please contact Ashley Frketich afrketich@sd61.bc.ca by Dec. 1.

Just Posted

Coroners office investigates death of Victoria-area teen

Investigation involves ‘male teenager’, confirmed student at Oak Bay high

Cops corral pig on the loose in Cordova Bay

Pig was trotting towards Pat Bay Highway from Cordova Ridge

Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association joins counter-protest

GVTA released statement of support for LGBTQ in response to upcoming protest

Iconic Mount Douglas beach rock vandalized with graffiti image

Saanich Parks staff will try to remove at low tide

WATCH: Topaz Park open house scheduled for Saturday

This will be the final stage of public engagement for park design

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

Saanich’s Shew sisters win gold, silver at national wrestling championships

Kiana, 17, won gold while Zena, 14, won silver at nationals

Camosun launches cannabis training courses

Growing Cannabis for Professionals is available online through continuing education

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

Most Read