Last year, Mr.Usperch, our beloved and much cherished IB Coordinator retired after 30 years of service. He was always known an icon and a friend to all IB students of Victoria Park, and he’ll greatly be remembered for his underlying commitment to the program. As the new year arises, so does a new IB Coordinator – introducing Ms.Bacque! The former Grade 12 HL IB English teacher has now filled Mr.Usperch’s position. Though she still remains a mystery to many students, I had the courtesy of squeezing in an interview in her over packed and busy schedule.Ms.Bacque was always passionate about the school environment as a young adult. She enjoyed learning as a child and this is what eventually inspired her to become a teacher. Her initial plan was to become a professor, however after experiencing drama, music, art and theatre; she decided to become a teacher.

It’s quite surprising that Ms.Bacque never worked permanently at any particular school except for Victoria Park. She initially commenced as a student teacher here and then was given the offer by Ms.Usperch to become a permanent IB English teacher. She started teaching the IB program in early 2000 – when most of the current Grade 12 students would’ve barely been five!

When asked about how she is feeling about the big transition from an IB teacher to an IB coordinator, she responded that she has “big shoes to fill.” As a result of teaching IB English for 12 years, Ms.Bacque feels like she has obtained a fairly good understanding of how the program operates. In addition to teaching, she remained as an Extended Essay supervisor for 6 years which allowed her to interact and communicate with IB Students face-to-face. She explained her only fear had been that she would not be able to have that same experience as a teacher again, but she said it’s all about “taking a chance.” Ms.Bacque knows she can’t be Mr.Usperch, therefore she chooses to lead and manage the program in her own “unique way.”

We all know that “great power comes with great responsibility” and along with that responsibility comes difficult challenges. For Ms.Bacque, she finds that remaining conversable with the program and quite frankly, being “comfortable with the change” is going to be one of her greatest hurdles she’ll have to face. She also highly emphasises on the importance of good communication – both with the teachers and administration. She wants to focus on team effort and working together as a community rather than individually.

Impressed with her positive outlook, I questioned her about her plans for the future of the IB program. She explains the program is fairly well balanced and it doesn’t require a lot of major changes.  She praises the fact that we have “great staff and fabulous teachers.” She wishes to focus on keeping the program running smoothly and supporting the teachers and students alike.

Lastly, Ms.Bacque’s message to VP is simple yet very heart-warming and meaningful. “I care about Victoria Park as a whole. Victoria Park is more than just about IB, which is just a component. It’s important to look at it as a community doing wonderful things and working together. I want everyone to feel like a whole, this includes all the opportunities available here, the co-op program, extra-circular activities, the arts and so much more. It’s important to recognize ourselves as a one entity rather than individual entities.”

Ms.Bacque’s commitment, passion, and dedication to not only to the IB program but to Victoria Park as a whole, is truly a blessing to all the students. Her future as IB coordinator looks greatly promising. We wish you best of luck Ms.Bacque!