Student hosts car meet at Vic High to say goodbye to auto body teacher

WatchA beloved high school teacher is getting ready to say goodbye to his students. And to thank him, they hosted a very special event on Thursday.

The roar of engines took over Vic High Thursday afternoon after a student organized a special car meet for a departing teacher.

Seventeen-year-old Tony Harrington says it was to show thanks to Kevin Blecic after 15 years teaching auto body.

“This is a little car show I’ve been trying to throw together for Mr. Blecic… It’s all sad for us… we just wanted to say thanks,” said Harrington.

Blecic says the skills and experience he has given students at B.C.’s only full-time auto body program is something he will always cherish.

“Its an opportunity to shine somewhere else where they may not shine in academics or athletics,” said Blecic.

He will now be going to a new position, as the district youth work and trades co-ordinator at the end of the school year.

“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be as interested in school anymore,” said Harrington.

Now in Grade 11, Harrington got gold in the Skills Canada provincials in Vancouver last year, before going to the nationals and winner silver.

He credits Kevin and the program with helping him get there.

“He was there for it all, he showed me what to do… and helped me with nerves… a huge mentor and leader,” said Harrington.

“Tony is a unique kid, he comes from a background of auto collision… getting to work work with a student like tony or any other is phenomenal,” said Blecic.

The going away party attracted students past and present —and even the teacher who Blessic replaced many years ago.

“I have graduates all over Victorian shops earning a living,” said retired auto body teacher Ed Wignall.

“[For 21-years]we have kept in touch… the fellow with [the] red car was my student in 1970 we remained friends ever since then,” added Wignall.

Harrington put out a call on social media for the event. Even strangers showed up to surprise Blecic.

“He was super happy… he was blown away,” said Harrington.

“I feel really lucky to be here for the last 18 years at Vic High… I’ll miss this school.”


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