School district shuffles administrators

Two vice principals each for Skeena and Caledonia as of this fall

  • Jun. 26, 2012 8:00 p.m.

THE SCHOOL district is changing its school administrative structure to meet the changes its made to secondary school education in Terrace.

It’s doing so by having two vice principals at Caledonia Senior Secondary and at the newly-created Skeena Middle School.

Basing two vice principals at both schools reflects what will be an increase in their enrolment this fall because of the closure of Thornhill Junior Secondary and the transfer of its students into Terrace.

The closure of Thornhill Junior is being  accompanied by a shift in what grades are taught where.

Grade 7 classes are being moved to Skeena Middle School , formerly Skeena Junior Secondary, which will then be a Grade 7-9 school instead of a Grade 8-10 school.

Skeena’s Grade 10 classes are being moved to Caledonia Senior Secondary.

Cathy Kennedy is moving from her position as vice principal at Uplands Elementary to join Cory Killoran as a vice principal at Skeena and Jane Arbuckle is moving from the principalship at Thornhill Junior Secondary School to join Keith Axelson as a vice principal at Caledonia.

School board chair Art Erasmus said the decision to place two vice principals at Cal and Skeena reflects the larger enrolments for both as of this fall and the change in the composition of each school’s student body.

“Certainly we’ll have students adapting to new environments,” said Erasmus.

Kennedy has experience with Grade 7 students who will be at Skeena while Arbuckle will be familiar to students coming into Caledonia from Thornhill, he said.

The school district is moving other school principals and vice principals as well.

Darlene Bragg-Hounsell, currently the principal of Cassie Hall Elementary School, is moving to assume the position of principal at Thornhill Primary School.

She’s going to be replaced by Sheila Thorhaug who is now vice principal at Cassie Hall.

Alison Campbell, the current principal of Thornhill Primary School, has been appointed vice principal of New Hazelton Elementary.

Bill Lenuik, the vice principal of Thornhill Junior Secondary, is to be the principal at Thornhill Elementary.

He’ll replace Debbie Koehn who is leaving to become a consultant working on a literacy project that will involve Thornhill Elementary.

Koehn was successful just recently securing a $56,000 grant which, over three years, will be used to buy books for Thornhill Elementary’s library.

Carol Pickering will remain as principal at New Hazelton Elementary while assuming responsibilities for the coordination and delivery of learner support services in the Hazeltons and Kitwanga.

Principals staying put are Todd Hollett  at Uplands Elementary, Cam MacKay at Caledonia, Maxine Champion at Ecole Mountainview, Pam Kawinksy at Suwilaawks and Phil Barron at Skeena.

Roberta Clarke is staying on as vice principal at Suwilaawks while vice principals are being sought to fill vacancies at other schools.

School chair Art Erasmus said vice principals fill a vital role in schools where they are required.

Uplands Elementary, for example, is the largest elementary school in the district and a vice principal there is needed to assist the principal, he said.

About one-quarter of a vice principal’s time is meant to be spent in vice principal duties and the rest in the classroom.

“Vice principals can take over when a principal isn’t there, they serve as someone the principal can confide in and they are also a training position as we consider succession plans,” said Erasmus.


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