03/03/2015 10:12 EST | Updated 05/03/2015 05:59 EDT

Alan Charlton, 80 year old teacher, celebrates birthday with 20 km walk

Alan Charlton turns 80 years old today, and to celebrate he's walking 20 kilometres around Stanley Park to raise money for a new school bus for Notre Dame Regional Secondary School — where he has taught English for the last 50 years.

"I decided that I really owe the school a debt for tolerating me this long, so I decided that I better do something to mark it," he told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Charlton said the school's principal, Roger DesLauriers, told him the school desperately needed a new school bus.

"A bus of course is $105,000, which is well beyond anything I was going to raise, but as of last night, I've been able to raise $32,000 and hoping for more," he said.

Charlton's friends have offered to walk with him, but he's told them he's going it alone.

"I kept saying where were you when I was doing the practice walks, I can do this alone," he said.

Charlton has been teaching at Notre Dame for so long that he will watch a former student — who is now the school's vice principal — retire this year after a 35 year career. Charlton plans to keep teaching.

"Notre Dame has become my family and as such I feel very grateful that I've been able to stay there."

To hear the full interview with Alan Charlton, click the audio labelled: Teacher Alan Charlton celebrates 80th birthday with fundraiser.