Monday, February 20, 2017

Change coming to the top position at SD52

SD52 Superintendent has filed her
retirement papers effective in July

Education on the North Coast is about to see a change in the public school system, with School District 52 announcing that Superintendent Sandra Jones has tendered her letter of retirement, with her departure from the top job in the District set to take place at the end of July.

The long time educator in the Prince Rupert area first joined SD52 in 1982, starting her career as a Teacher on Call and since then moved through a number of positions with the District.

Through her thirty five years she has served as a teacher, counsellor, Vice-Principal and Principal at the school level, further into her management career she also served as assistant Superintendent prior to her move to the top spot in July of 2013.

The period of time required to find a replacement didn't last very long, nor did it include much of a search, with School District Chair Tina Last announcing that Ms. Jones will be succeeded by Mr. Ken Minnette, who like his predecessor has had a long career with SD 52.

The new Superintendent began his career in January of 1989 with a position at Booth Memorial Junior School, from there he has taken on a number of positions as teacher, counsellor and Vice Principal at Charles Hays Secondary.

When the District moved to the Middle School system in 2011, Mr. Minette served as the school principal, he has also taken on duties of Director of Instruction and Assistant Supervisor in recent years.

In a media release from last week, Ms. Tina Last paid tribute the work of Ms. Jones over the years and noted how the transition to Mr. Minette will take place.

“The school district has thrived under Sandy’s leadership,” ... “We thank her for serving this district throughout her career, and wish her all the best in her retirement. We are also thrilled to have developed an internal candidate with the leadership skills needed for this position. The Board has every confidence in the future of the district in Ken’s capable hands.”

Mr. Minette takes the helm of the District with some challenging times ahead.

As we noted earlier this month, the ongoing Budget Consultations have indicated that the District will be facing a deficit of in the period ahead, the current process one that falls under the term of Ms. Jones, but it would seem logical that the new Superintendent will be providing for his input on how to move forward.

In addition to the financial issues, the recent StatsCan census numbers indicate that Prince Rupert's population is still on the decline, a situation that will impact on how the province delivers school funding in future years.

Also starting to have an impact on education is the recent victory in court by the BCTF, which saw the provincial government announce the creation of a large number of new teaching positions for the education system in BC.

That has already had some consequences for School District's across Northern BC as teachers start to explore opportunities in larger centres, leaving the northern District's facing the prospect of an educator drain that could make for challenges as the new school year begins and for the immediate period ahead.

The change at the top in administration is not the only news coming out of the SD52 offices,  as it appears that a familiar face is back in the Human Resources Department as of this month, with indications that Kathy Gomez has returned to her position with the District.

It may be more of a transition position however, with Ms. Gomez filling in while a search for permanent Director is in underway.

There currently is a posting on the Make A Future Website calling for applications for the job, with a deadline of February 28th for those with an interest in the Human Resources position.

The HR job was most recently occupied by Mr. Jonathon Wittig who held the combined post of Director of Human Resources and Corporate Counsel, he joined the School District in April of 2016 replacing Ms. Gomez upon announcement of her retirement.

There is no indication on the SD52 website as to what his status with SD52 may be, following the shift in the HR department.

More background on developments with SD52 can be found on our archive page.

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