A long-time Glendon teacher has been inducted into the Alberta Schools Athletic Association Hall of Fame this month.
Daryn Galatiuk said the induction was completely unexpected, and very humbling.
“Coming from my background and not having a ton of sporting experience, but to be recognized by your peers and to have people behind your back kind of put together a nomination…it’s been an incredible experience,” said Galatiuk.
Asked to further explain his background, Galatiuk said he had never participated in any school sports when he was growing up except tennis. His introduction to team sports was playing intramurals in university.
“I guess I was a bit of a late bloomer myself in terms of my athletic ability,” he said.
Galatiuk started coaching senior boys basketball in Glendon 21 years ago.
“At times, I’d be up all night thinking of practice plans, and how am I going to show to the kids that I actually know what I’m doing. And it was like survival mode for the first few years to try and be one step ahead. But overall it gave me a motivation to learn and to be involved in so many other sports and it just so much fun. I got to learn so much,” said Galatiuk.
He said sports have become an important part of the school’s culture because they create a character-building space.
“And to get them to do the right thing when no one’s watching…It’s building that relationship piece that sports is about. It’s not just about winning or losing, it’s just about the building of character and providing a culture in your building that sports not only enhances just your athletic program, but your whole educational program,” said Galatiuk.
In working to enhance the athletic and educational programs at Glendon School, Galatiuk and a number of other young teachers who were hired around the same time focused on branching out with athletic opportunities.
From basketball, he went on to coach volleyball, cross country, badminton, and track and field for the students at the K-12 school.
“My life is all about seasons of play. And that’s kind of how I’ve lived my life over the past couple decades,” said Galatiuk noting that when they get to track and field season “you know you’re almost done.”
Eventually, Galatiuk became more involved in the St. Paul Athletic Association, which includes schools in the St. Paul Education region as well as the surrounding First Nations.
While at SPAA, he went on to become part of the executive and spent over 10 years involved there, most recently as the vice-president. He also became involved with the North East Athletic Association, which includes schools from Fort McMurray to Lloydminster.
“It’s just been, you know, getting involved in helping out and giving back time to all of the sports associations that provide things for kids and making sure things run smoothly and ethically. And it’s been great. I love being involved in it. I love being part of the process. And through all of my time, I’ve met a ton of incredible people,” said Galatiuk.
Of special note are Jacquelyn Janz, Brittany Webber, Janice Boltner, Gord Lothberg, and Sandra Lysy, all people who Galatiuk says are members of the community who have been helping for years despite not being teachers.
“It’s people like that, and that’s why I want them named, is why programs still run and why I’m able to talk to you today is because of people like that. And I mean, I could name a gazillion more people,” said Galatiuk.
Northern Lights Public School Division Chair Arlene Hrynyk said that while she wasn’t involved in nominating Galatiuk, his induction did not come as a surprise to her.
“He’s always been so committed for the students and the coaching. To see his name come up as inducted into the Hall of Fame is not shocking to me. He’s been so committed over the years. So we’re very, very proud of him and excited for him. It’s well deserved,” said Hrynyk.
To see Galatiuk’s induction video, click here.