Silver Star Elementary School principal Jacqueline Taylor (left) presents Vernon’s John Remple with his 2022 B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association’s Partnership Award in recognition of the thousands of birdhouses he has built and donated to the Vernon School District. (Contributed)

Silver Star Elementary School principal Jacqueline Taylor (left) presents Vernon’s John Remple with his 2022 B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association’s Partnership Award in recognition of the thousands of birdhouses he has built and donated to the Vernon School District. (Contributed)

Building birdhouses leads to B.C. honour for Vernon man

John Remple has built and donated 10,000 birdhouses to schools in the North Okanagan

John Remple’s path to a provincial award for people or groups who have made a substantial difference in the lives of B.C. public school students began with a birdhouse.

Remple is one of five individuals/groups recognized with a 2022 B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association Partnership Award.

It started in 2010, when Remple gave his two kindergarten-aged neighbour boys a birdhouse to take for Show and Tell. He then received requests to build birdhouses for other classes, and was able to do so with a donation of scrap plywood.

When Remple and his wife moved to Vernon in 2015, he built more birdhouses and donated them to a school in the district. This, naturally, led to more birdhouses.

So far, Remple has donated 10,000 birdhouses to schools in Vernon and throughout the North Okanagan. He has mobilized companies to donate supplies and has been instrumental in offering students the opportunity to design, make, acquire and apply skills and technologies related to the real-world function of birdhouses.

He was nominated for the provincial award by the Vernon chapter of the BCPVPA.

“Thank you to the educators and support staff that nominated me for the award, and to all those that provided letters of their support,” said Remple. “It is such an honour to receive this award along with others that contribute so much to their communities. I am amazed to receive this award – 10 years ago I made my neighbours’ two sons birdhouses, and the project has grown so much since then.”

Other award recipients come from Sooke, Victoria, Chilliwack and Vanderhoof.

The 2022 recipients were honoured May 13 in a ceremony at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond on the traditional and unceded territory of the hən ̓q ̓əmin ̓əm ̓ language group, where the Musqueam people continue their traditions and cultural education.

“It is such a pleasure for the BCPVPA to learn about what individuals and organizations in our province are doing to support their local public schools, and to be able to recognize those people who consistently go above and beyond,” says BCPVPA president Darren Danyluk.

“The recipients are generous in making sure that students have their basic needs met so that they are ready to learn when they are at school, and they also open doors to adventures and initiatives those students may not otherwise experience.”

For more than two decades, the BCPVPA has presented the Partnership Awards in recognition of the time and expertise that local citizens dedicate to supporting B.C. students and schools. Nominations are submitted by the BCPVPA’s 60 Chapters that provide professional support to Principals and Vice-Principals across the province.

“Each Award recipient is deeply valued and appreciated by our members in the local chapters,” says Danyluk. “These individuals and organizations are the ones who are always present in the school community, and are frequently the first to pitch in or find a way to rally support for a project. They are doing their work quietly and not expecting recognition – for them, the reward is seeing local students engaged, inspired, and happy.”

READ MORE: Vernon PAC group says thank you to teachers, staff

READ MORE: Duo rescued from Wood Lake after boat flips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

AwardsVernonvolunteers