Coast Mountains School District cuts admin positions

School district expects to save about $30,000 in salary costs

The Coast Mountains School District is finding efficiencies by eliminating several administration positions across the district, a move it says has been in the works for some time and will ultimately save the district money.

The staffing changes harken back to the time when schools were closed and administrators were merged into the schools along with the students.

“In several of our schools we’ve ended up with several administrators teaching part time and being administrators part time,” said school superintendent Katherine McIntosh.

But this year, due to a number of staff vacancies, the district is finally able to move people around so it is not doubling up on administrators.

“In our larger schools we’re trying to get to two, and our smaller schools trying to get down to one – we’re not all the way there yet, it will be a process of about several years to get to that,” she said.

The move, which will see Skeena and Caledonia now move to one full-time vice principal instead of two part-time ones beginning in August, has been in the works for some time and will save the district about $30,000 in salary costs, said McIntosh.

The savings coming from teachers teaching more, and principals and vice principals teaching less, she said.

“The blocks of teaching time that the principal and vice principal were teaching will now be going back into the bargaining unit for teachers, so it will increase the teaching time there,” she said.

But saving money wasn’t the intention, McIntosh said.

“The driver behind this really is to have full-time vice principals and principals, so that they’re there to support teachers, respond to parents, respond to students, and that there’s better coverage in the office and availability to support everybody in the building,” she said. “Whenever you’re doing two part-time jobs it’s never part-time, it’s two full-time positions.”

Still, the savings won’t hurt  – and will help the district meet the provincial mandate to cut administrative costs over the next two years.

“We’re kind of lucky that we’d planned this ahead of time for other reasons and we think we’ll be able to use that to meet some of those requirements, but certainly not all,” she said.

In Terrace, Pat Mouland has been appointed to the position of vice principal, Cassie Hall Elementary School, with Steve Wallace, current vice principal, taking on the role of principal and replacing Sheila Thorhaug who is retiring.

Cindy Sousa will be vice principal of the Northwest Regional Trades & Employment Training Centre, with a focus on distance learning.

And returning to the classroom will be Todd Hollett, currently vice principal at Caledonia Secondary School and Cathy Kennedy, previously vice principal at Skeena Middle School, the district announced.