Western Washington, 1972, MEd, Secondary Administration
University of British Columbia, 1951, BSc, Agriculture
Frank Toporchak emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1937 and grew up in Vernon, BC on a mixed farm. His interest in farming and mechanics led him to complete his undergraduate degree in Agriculture Sciences (BSA) at UBC in 1951. This was followed with a Master of Education degree in Secondary Administration in 1972 from Western Washington.
Following graduation he took teacher training at UBC and taught in various communities throughout BC, including Langley Prairie, Fort St. John, and Revelstoke. He progressed to teaching Principal at Forest Grove and Chetwynd. In 1965 he chose to take up permanent roots and taught at Port Coquitlam Senior Secondary school for three years before being appointed to the School Board Staff as Consultant for the Occupational Program.
With his young family, wife Olive and three children (Anne, Andrew and Linda) in tow, each summer Frank returned to Vernon to serve as an officer with the Royal Canadian Army Cadets (1953-1967) teaching new recruits. He retired with the rank of Major and many blisters from the Okanagan sun, practicing drills and on maneuvers.
Frank has served on many community service clubs over the years: on the Executive of the Royal Canadian Legion; as BC Teachers’ Federation Geographical Rep. for Central Interior; as President of Teachers of Occupational Program Specialists Association; President of Tri-City Chamber of Commerce; Port Coquitlam RCMP representative for the Community Policing Committee; 4-H Beef Club Leader; and on the PNE Agriculture Advisory Committee. In 1980-1982 he served on the BC Education Committee to review the Student Work Experience Program: this achieved WCB coverage for all students on work education/experience.
Frank retired from teaching in 1986 after 21 years with School District # 43, but claims his true highlights in his life to be his family and his home. He built a hobby farm on Burke Mountain where he continues his interest in agriculture and raised horses and cattle. One of his achievements was his steer placing in the top three at the PNE – Beef open Market Class. The children have moved out, but the grandchildren come around each day and there is never a shortage of energy and noise on the farm.