Oscar Lavitt ’22
School Life Editor
At the end of this December, Dr. Rod Uzat will be leaving St. Paul’s High School to embark on a new career as a university professor. Dr. Uzat has taught at St. Paul’s for 10 years, serving as an American History teacher, a golf and grade 9 basketball coach, and as the school’s Vice Principal of Students. Dr. Uzat will be moving on to the University of Texas Permian Basin in Odessa Texas, taking up the position of assistant professor of education.
As well as teaching masters’ classes there, he will be working to create a doctoral program in educational leadership. Dr. Uzat remembers his interactions with the students fondly, recounting, “A number of years ago, the graduating class arranged to have a small mariachi band follow me around the school and play behind me as we were going. I’d go to my office, and they’d hang out there, and when I left, they trumpeted out behind me.”
Grade 11 and 12 students may also remember the time when Dr. Uzat agreed to be taped to the Cass Gym wall to raise money for charity. One thing that students will remember Dr. Uzat for is his wardrobe.
Many have wondered why Dr. Uzat always wears such nice suits, to which he answered, with a chuckle, “Well, it’s a habit. I’ve worn suits the entire time that I’ve taught, and you just end up accumulating clothes. It’s tougher to change than to just keep on doing it!” Dr. Uzat was a tough coach for his grade 9 basketball team, but this coaching saw great success.
During our interview, he recounted the time when both grade 9 basketball teams made it to the final round of the provincial championships: “We always have two [grade nine] teams, and it was the two of us playing for the provincial championships. We certainly had good athletes, but there were better teams than us that year. When the chips were down in provincials, they did it.” Ultimately, Dr. Uzat’s team would go on to take the championship that year, and with both the championship and finalist wins, it was a tremendous victory for St. Paul’s. Dr. Uzat mainly taught American History at St. Paul’s.
Now having accumulated over 20 years of teaching the subject, his students were exposed to the material through a unique lens. Ronald Reagan and Mad Men are sure to ring a bell. The numerous in-class essays, papers, and projects made American History a difficult class, but one that was worthwhile for those who took it. He is possibly best known for his role as VPS.
Students are likely to remember a sharp knock on the door followed by someone being pulled out of class to receive a talking-to from Dr. Uzat. This reputation inspired fear in the hearts of many a grade 9 student. Though Dr. Uzat was very intimidating as a VPS, when you got to know him, he was a very nice man to talk to, both in, and outside of class. All in all, Dr. Uzat’s time at St. Paul’s is one to be celebrated, and as a student body, we wish him well on whatever endeavours he pursues in America.