Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson of the Canadian Armed Forces will visit Stayner Collegiate Institute on Mon., March 23 as part of a public outreach tour he is conducting.
He will be at the school from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., giving a talk about the role of Canada’s Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
From May 2008 to February 2009, Thompson was commander of the Canadian joint task force in Afghanistan.
The visit to Stayner Collegiate is a coming home of sorts for Thompson, who attended the high school in the 1970s after graduating from New Lowell Central Public School.
Pam Jeffrey, a teacher-librarian at SCI, invited Thompson to the school.
“How it all happened is kind of a funny story,” she said in an interview Monday.
Jeffrey said her husband, Dayn Leyshon, went to high school with Thompson but the two had lost touch.
She said in May 2008, her husband read a newspaper story about Thompson and thought it might be the same guy he knew from high school.
She said he compared a current photograph of Thompson with an old yearbook picture and determined it was indeed the same person.
In February of this year, Jeffrey said she sent an e-mail to the Canadian Armed Forces, trying to reach Thompson.
She said she was thinking he or a designate might be able to do some type of web-cam presentation on Afghanistan that would be of interest to students.
Four days after she sent the e-mail, Thompson personally replied and through e-mail the two were able to arrange his visit to the high school.
Jeffrey said the entire student body will be on hand to hear Thompson’s presentation, plus Grade 8 students from public schools in Clearview Township.
Jeffrey said the public is invited as well, but she asks that people contact the school ahead of time to arrange a seat.
To contact the school, call 428-2639.