It’s all about the kids


Football League campaign at Cornwall Col- legiate. “We had an undefeated season but lost our championship game 20-16 against the Warriors,” said Lee. “Nobody’s very happy, especially since we beat them twice during the season.” Lee was born in Toronto and moved to the Vankleek Hill area when he was 12 years old. His father worked for the RCMP and his mother was originally from Chute-à-Blon- deau. Lee’s grandparents owned a farm in Chute-à-Blondeau where he would spend his summers as a child. Lee attended Pleasant Corners Public School for a year, continued on at VCI, and spent his final year at Glengarry High School before going onto university to play football. He attended the University of New Brunswick (UNB), and then the University of Ottawa (UO). Before becoming a teacher, Lee played both college and professional football. After playing college football at UNB and UO, Lee signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders as a free agent in April of 1982. The following year, he signed with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Lee played five seasons with Ottawa, mainly as a back-up receiver and punt returner. In 1986, however, Lee got a chance to seemore action and responded with a career season, catching 46 passes for 564 yards. “I was starting to have trouble with one of my hips,” explained Lee. “Although I didn’t complain, I guess they could see it in the

With three years left before retiring, Wayne Lee is enjoying everymoment doing what he loves. “I look forward to coming to school every day,” said Lee, physical education teacher at Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI). “We are pretty lucky to have a rural school like this with a lot of great athletes, good sports, and a good mix of boys and girls playing.” Lee teaches two fitness classes, and one gym class. He has been involved in sports for as long as he can remember. “I have two brothers. We were all into sports,” chuckled Lee. “It is so good for young people to be involved in sports. Competition is a good thing for them. So is the friendship. Good work ethics and learning to compromise develops at a young age. They learn these skills in sports.” Lee played a number of sports in high school including football and basketball. As with all kids, something is always bound to happen. “In grade 12 basketball, our coach was giving us themotivational talk before we went out to play. When he was done, we all went running out onto the court. One guy forgot to put his shorts on,” Lee laughed. “We let him do one around the gym before we told him.” Lee also coaches the Glengarry Gaels seniors, and opened the Seaway High School

Wayne Lee loves what he does and enjoys going to work each and every day.

films. They asked me to pack it in. It was a hard day.” Lee became a supply teacher in Hamil- ton and coached the Hamilton Hurricanes helping them to achieve an undefeated sea- son in 1990. “Right now I am coaching the lads here,” Lee said with a smile. “It’s bloody fun! We win sometimes. We lose sometimes. We always seem to have good coaches.” Lee is very proud of his kids, Michael 26, and McCauley 22. Michael is working in Dubai as an aircraft mechanic and is expected home just in time for Christmas. “It’s not safe there right now,” said Lee. “It will be good to have him home.” McCauley is working and planning to go to school in

the fall to become a pet groomer. “It’s so important to do something you love.” Lee isn’t quite sure what he will do once he retires. “I’ll fish more. And probably continue to coach football,” he said. “I like antiques. My wife Joan loves to refinish old furniture, and I’ll probably do some stained glass.” For now Lee is having fun coaching and teaching. “The best thing for me is watching a kid who is struggling in sports or academics, or socially, and watch him improve and gain self-confidence,” said Lee. “Knowing they have good support from teachers and staff and with a little determination, they can all succeed.”

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Wayne Lee said the best thing for him is to see a child succeed and be happy. He stands here with the VCI boys jr basketball team. Although he doesn’t coach them, they were all more than happy to pose with him.

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Hawkesbury Santa Claus Parade The Hawkesbury Santa Claus Parade will be held Saturday, December 5 at 7 p.m. Those wanting to enter a float in the parade can go to the Hawkesbury website at to download an entry form. All vehicles and floats must be decorated, and lights as well as Christmas music are strongly recommended. All participants and volunteers are encouraged to dress in festive Christmas attire, but must not be dressed in Santa or Mrs. Santa clothes. – Diane Hunter


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