Bob Tolsma is a legend amongst Calgary Academy staff and students alike. He carries himself with a quiet, approachable confidence, always open to crack a joke and lend a hand in any situation. If you have been to any CA event you immediately recognize his presence behind the grill, but he has given so much more to our community than just a perfectly grilled hot dog!
Bob started at CA in 1986, with a desire to focus on less theoretical and the more practical areas of education. During his time at CA, he has learned immensely from staff members—admin, colleagues, support staff… some still here, others long gone… and immensely from hundreds of students. He values the honesty and integrity of all these people, and believes they have all helped to make this school a place where we grow and learn to be ourselves together.
Bob’s best memories at the school usually involve gut-busting laughter, whether in the staff room at lunch, or in the classroom with kids. That kind of laughter dissolves barriers, clears the head and makes friends forever.
Bob has continued to be one of the first to volunteer to support any CA event. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and a sense of calm under pressure that really takes the stress out of running any event. No one knows when he started to acclimate to the role of the man behind the grill at our BBQs but if he had any tips to offer future grill masters, it would be to take notes from street meat artists – they are the best in their field.
When asked what makes him most proud, Bob simply and poetically stated:
“I am most proud of this being a school that provided support for students to become comfortable in their own skin and become themselves. We accepted them intrinsically, taught them some skills, and let them go.”
As proud as he is of our community and students, CA is equally as proud to call Bob one of our own, and we wish him the most well-deserved, relaxing summer enjoying simple pleasures, most of them involving the outdoors, and a trip to the coast to visit his family.