The Coast Mountains School District’s (CMSD) new superintendent visited Terrace last week, meeting with district officials and receiving an official welcome at the March 12 school board meeting.
Members of the Suwilaawks Community School drummers were on hand at the school board office, performing three songs to welcome Katherine McIntosh, who will take over as superintendent of School District 82 at the end of this school year.
“I’m so honoured to be here on your traditional territory,” said McIntosh to the Suwilaawks’ students. “I’m very excited to work with you when I arrive.”
McIntosh, now the assistant superintendent for School District 85 based in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, says she is here for the longterm and has already secured housing.
She’s been in Port Hardy for six years and before that was in Powell River on the Sunshine Coast for 11 years.
She and her husband love rural communities, said McIntosh, and Terrace appealed to her partly because of all of opportunities to be part of changes here.
To that end, she connected the district with Jay Yule, longtime superintendent at the Powell River School District, who gave a presentation to the board at the meeting outlining the trades and technical training program that has been in operation at that district for nearly a decade.
Yule’s district partnered with First Nations, post-secondary institutions, government and industry to offer certificate programs in areas such as trades and culinary arts, in an attempt to “make education more relevant” to students in the area, and has seen graduation rates increase and satisfaction rates climb, he said.
“You’re way ahead of where we are,” said school board chair Art Erasmus to Yule. “But certainly you can see some of the things that can happen and we look forward to talking to you some more and picking your brain.”
McIntosh takes over from outgoing superintendent Nancy Wells, who has been with the district for since 2010. Wells first took over as interim superintendent and has had her contract extended several times.