Mr Wesley Barrett Esquire
Mr Wesley Barrett, coach, Assistant Houseparent, and according to Oscar L, Ellis ‘23 “The sleekest man on campus.”
Born and raised in Richmond, BC Mr Barrett grew up with two brothers, playing soccer for provincial and youth Whitecaps teams as a “modest soccer player.” While provincial soccer and Whitecaps are the highest level of soccer in British Columbia, humble Mr B believes he “never really came into my own as a soccer player until I was 18.”
At Brentwood, his main role is Assistant Houseparent to Mr Mark Wismer. And Mack/Ellis has yet to lose Interhouse since Wes joined the boys in green. He is also the main coach for both boys and girls soccer, meaning he is on the turf coaching all year long. No stranger to the coaching world, his first ever gig instructing the beautiful game was when he was 14 working at summer camps as well as with an autistic student with a club team.
When I asked Mr Barrett for one word to describe himself, he responded modestly “EPIC”. The backstory on this is that he is a co-founder of EPIC (Environment, Patience, Independence & Consistency) Sport Management Society, a not-for-profit organization which helps young athletes learn correct techniques and mindsets to help them thrive as they grow up. When asked what is one accomplishment that he is most proud of, he replied “National Championship in the CIS in 2011 and scoring a goal in the final from 30 yards out.” Video evidence backs him up too! Clearly this goes to further prove his athletic abilities.
Another word I am sure many Ellis boys would use to describe Mr Barrett would be “Patient”. “I feel I am very very patient which is why I was meant to live in a boarding house with 50 high school boys!”
In his scholarly years, Mr B attended Trinity Western University and then transferred to UVIC where he completed most of his degree. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Health Education.
Mr Barrett found out about Brentwood from Senior Girls Volleyball coach Ms Jill Fougner whose two children graduated from Brentwood with flying athletic colours. Wes had coached both her kids in club soccer for years. “She told me all about the school and basically got me the job. Funny fact about Brentwood is I had been on the Island for almost eight years and I had driven through Mill Bay to Nanaimo hundreds of times and did not know that the Brentwood Campus was even there!”
A common question that I ask everyone I interview is “What is your favorite thing about Brentwood?” And I thought Mr. Barret summed it up wonderfully: “My favorite thing about Brentwood? That is tough - to pinpoint just one thing.” In the boarding house he loves in-house breakfast with all the Ellis boys. In soccer he loves to travel with the team, so this year without tournaments, hotels and travel Mr Barrett has noticed, even more, how much he loves those experiences. And “In classes, I love being a part of the leadership side of things, specifically with the Grade 12 group.”
In the house in particular, Mr B states that his favorite thing about being a Houseparent is “working with Mark Wismer. The man is an absolute legend.” Wes tells me that he is a role model and a dear friend of his. “The job would be okay without him and I am sure I would still enjoy it, but he truly is what makes me love the job. The difference I make in the kids’ lives is also one of the biggest rewards and benefits I get from the job.”
In terms of Wesley’s future plans “Currently I love what I do and love working with kids. I often joke that I will go into finance or real estate someday, but then I always come back to the fact that I love working with kids and molding the future people of tomorrow. As long as I get to work with kids in sport I think I will be happy. I will semi-retire some day, and at that time I will assist a friend coaching a university team somewhere in Canada or the USA from August-November and live in Arizona from January-April … and golf, all the time.”
“Other than the one I am currently in, my dream job would be to run, operate and coach a professional soccer club, preferably a women's club but one with both men and women would be fine also and the coaches would all be my best soccer friends. Blair Sturrock, Head of Shawnigan Soccer would be coaching a team for example. And years after players graduated they would become assistants for teams and eventually head coaches for those teams. Preferably this would all take place in Hawaii.” Sounds like “Livin’ the life” to me. Mr Barrett stressed, however, that he is happy right where he is, here in Mill Bay.
Jensa NG, Mack ‘23