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2. Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Don Poth

I am Don Poth and. I still live on the farm in New Dundee where I was born and raised.    On the farm, I learned how to work, get the job done and play when the job is finished.  That lesson has carried me through my life very well  I attended Waterloo Oxford Secondary School in Baden, then attended the Ont. Agricultural College in Guelph, before deciding to become a teacher and farm on the side. The smartest thing I ever did was get involved with a lovely girl, Beth Becker, from the nearby Roseville.  We were married in 1970.  After living in Kitchener for one year, we severed a lot off the family farm, and have lived in the same house and will celebrate our 40th anniversary in August .  We have two daughters, Julie (a human resources manager) who married Kevin Dopko a financial advisor. They purchased the 



farm house I grew up in and have 3 children.  My other daughter Amy, who teaches at Ayr. PS, married Elliot Fung who works for RIM.  They  live in the farm house across from Julie.  They have two children.  Interesting, that my grandfather built both houses that my children now live in. The 5 grandchildren, all under 6, live around the corner keep us busy and we enjoy them very much.

 My teaching career started in Cambridge at C Cornwell School, then I moved to Pioneer Park,  moved to  Queensmount PS.  I became Vice Principal at MacGregor Senior PS, and my first Principalship was at Heidelberg PS.  What a treat to be principal and teach in a small school with 95 children.  I taught half time and was
Principal half time. You knew every child, every parent and taught half the school.  What a great experience for me.  I then moved to William G Davis PS in Preston a grade 7 & 8 school, and then came back and was principal at Pioneer Park for the last 6 years of my career..I  retired 9 years ago after 33 years in education           

One hobby that started outside my school career, concerned our family farm.  My brother, our wives and I decided to pursue developing 25 acres of the family farm. We worked with a professional planner and an engineering firm, changed the zoning of the farmland, supervised the construction of the streets, sidewalks, and storm drains.  As the process continued, I sold all 40 lots myself. I think the Dundee Estates subdivision is an asset to our community  We still own 60 acres of farmland and cash crop the land.

  When I retired, being a type A, I feared I would get bored.  So I got my car dealer’s license and work with my cousin at Bechtel Motors in New Dundee.  I go to the various 

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 car auctions and purchase cars.  My other hobbies include snowmobiling, KW Oldtimer hockey, slo pitch, golfing and curling.

 I am very involved, probably too involved with my community of New Dundee.  I am a former President of the Optimist Club of New Dundee .  Over the years in New Dundee, I   have been involved with committees to build the New Dundee Community Centre, was chair of the New Dundee Improvement Committee, chaired a committee that developed the Optimist Park on Alder Lake  and now I am involved with the New Dundee Parks Improvement Project.  I am an active member of the Baptist Church in New Dundee.

My wife and I share a cottage on the Severn River, near  Sparrow Lake in Muskoka.  We have owned the cottage together with my  brother in law and sister in law for 25 years.  We go half the time, do half the work and most importantly of all, pay half the bills.

My wife and I enjoy traveling.  We have been to Europe several times, toured the Yukon, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, China, Thailand, Japan, Great Britain, Ireland Turkey, Russia and spent 4 weeks in Africa.  We enjoy the beach in Orange Beach Alabama in November and March

 In conclusion, you’re not here for a long time, but are here for a good time.  I believe you need to enjoy every day and not get too serious about small stuff.  If you smile at people, they will smile back.  If you go out of your way to help people, some day they will help you.  If you consider your friends your relatives you have a big family.  If you think you have problems, you probably do.  Let a smile be your umbrella and you will always receive a mouthful of rain.   Have a good day.

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