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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
William E. Hay


Ranking high in the educational circles of the province of Alberta is William E. Hay, superintendent of the city schools of Medicine Hat. He has devoted his life to the profession and his progress has been continuous, his developing powers enabling him to solve more and more accurately the problems that continually confront the teacher. Mr. Hay is of Scotch descent, although born in Ontario, his birth having occurred in Listowel, on the 27th of August, 1880. His grandfather, William Hay, was born in Scotland, and crossing the Atlantic, he became a pioneer settler of Fergus, Ontario, where, in the midst of the forest, he cleared a tract of land and developed a farm, bringing his field under a high state of cultivation and improvement. His son, Andrew Hay, was born at Fergus, Ontario, and became a contractor and builder, in 1910 he removed to Calgary, where he is still at the head of a large and substantial business, although seventy-five years of age, for he is a man of great physical strength and endurance. His religious faith in that of the Presbyterian church and fraternally he is connected with the Canadian Order of Foresters. In politics he is a Liberal and keeps well informed on the vital questions and issues of the clay, being also a well informed man on many general topics outside of politics. He wedded Mary McMillan, also a native of Ontario, in which province their marriage was celebrated. She is a daughter of Walter McMillan, who was a native of Scotland and was a sailor in early life, becoming first mate on vessels that sailed the Great Lakes. He also farmed for a time in Ontario. To Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Hay one child was born, William E. Hay of this review.

In the public schools of his native province William E. Hay pursued his education until graduated from the high school at Listowel, with the class of 1899. He obtained his first professional certificate at Elora, Ontario, and he also attended the Normal School at London, Ontario, in 1903. At intervals before completing his education he taught school, being a teacher at Maplewood, Ontario, from 1900 until 1903. After completing his Normal School training he came to Alberta, settling at Strathcona, where he received an appointment under D. S. McKenzie. He taught at Strathcona until 1906, and then went to Medicine Hat and was principal of the Montreal Street school until September, 1908, when he became principal of the Practice school of the new Normal School opened in Calgary, being the first to fill the position of principal there. He remained there until 1911, and then accepted the position of principal of the high school and supervisor of schools at Medicine Hat. A little later he was advanced to the position of superintendent of schools in this city. lie was made the first school superintendent here and under his administration the educational system of the city has been steadily developed. There is now a staff of seventy-five teachers, with twenty-six hundred pupils, who are housed in eight substantial school buildings. Under his guidance, too, the methods of instruction have been advanced and improved and the school system of the city is one of which his fellow townsmen have every reason to be Proud. He holds to high ideals in all of his work and throughout his life has embraced every opportunity for personal advancement in his chosen calling. He has taken two degrees from Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, that of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Pedagogy, and he is now filling the position of member of the board of governors of the University of Alberta. His ideals are high and he constantly endeavors to reach their level.

In 1908 Mr. Hay was united in marriage to Miss Mary Rae, who was born in Boissevain, Manitoba, a daughter of James Rae, mentioned elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Hay have become the parents of four children: Robert, Gordon, Stewart and Cameron, aged, respectively, twelve, ten, eight and seven years. The religious faith of the family is that of the Presbyterian church, in which both parents are active. Mr. Hay is a member of the session or elders of the church and is acting clerk of the session. He has also been superintendent of the Sunday school since 1913 and every branch of church work finds in him a generous and loyal supporter. He is likewise a member of the Rotary Club and cooperates in all plans and measures of that organization for the benefit and upbuilding of the city, the extension of its trade relations and the adoption of high standards of civic service. He is a Liberal in politics but is not an aspirant for office, preferring to concentrate his entire time and attention upon his professional interests and duties.


 


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