Dustin Stolen is the newest addition to the West Boundary Elementary School’s faculty, recruited this summer to teach a variety of subjects to several grade levels.
Stolen, a Penticton native, brings nearly 20 years of related experience to WBES, though this is his first position in the public school system, having studied and taught oversees for the larger part of two decades, including stints in Europe and Japan.
An avid cyclist, Stolen’s love of the open road has seen him visit 40 countries, tackling cycling tours as long as 15,000 kilometres, which took him through the U.K., Scandinavia and continental Europe. He has also cycled across Canada.
To subsidize his travels, Stolen worked as an English teacher while “chipping away at a degree.”.
Upon his return to Canada from Japan, where he not only taught his own native language but also studied Japanese, he decided to take advantage of his British passport for an extended visit to Europe.
Stolen was soon smitten by languages, despite having failed French in Grade 9, and eventually switched his post-secondary major to reflect his newly-found passion.
“When I travelled I realized how awesome language is and that made me switch my major to Japanese,” he said.
Stolen graduated from the University of Victoria in 2007, then returned to Japan for several years until a major earthquake convinced him it was time to return to Canada.
In 2014, Stolen completed his Bachelor of Education degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
“I chose Queen’s because their program was really pushing the new philosophy of teaching that is becoming more prevalent these days,” Stolen said. “Students are being encouraged to become accountable for their own learning, coming up with their own ideas as opposed to the teacher telling them everything.”
Stolen, 37, is looking forward to a long teaching career to add to his already impressive personal and professional resume.