Junior School PE Teachers, Coaches, Family Men, and One of Mulgrave's Most Charming Dynamic Duos
Like peanut butter and jelly, Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, or coffee and sugar, all powerhouse duos have one thing in common - they are at their best together. And so is the case for Mulgrave's own superstar pair Mr. Thomson and Mr. Gardiner, the school’s teamwork MVPs.
Each a teaching rock star in his own right, it is their combined passion and their engaging teaching style that have catapulted them from great to Mulgrave’s proverbial Hall of Fame. Gerry and James set clear expectations of themselves and their students and although they may not see eye to eye on everything – Gerry would argue that the biggest sports scandal of the past decade was Tiger Woods, whereas James would list Lance Armstrong and FIFA’s corruption charges – both agree on the important stuff. “My dad would always say ‘Don’t just show up, play.’ and I apply this to everything I do. James’s approach to teaching and life is very similar so, our shared philosophy not only contributes to teamwork while in school, but also to a great friendship,” asserted Mr. Thomson.
This level of investment in everything they do has endeared them to students and earned them great respect, along with a strong following. Their teams are known for having dozens of students, nearly all the boys or girls in a class.
We asked members of the Mulgrave community to share what makes Mr. Gardiner and Mr. Thomson an outstanding team - their passion and their commitment to student development and growth were consistently mentioned. According to James, they would not be able to do it any other way. “No matter what you are doing, strong commitment is essential to success. We are committed to the students and their growth in much the same way we are to that of our own children. That commitment inspires trust and respect in students and prompts them to treat each other like family.”