Photo of CMSD82 office in Terrace taken earlier this year. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Teachers cast vote of no confidence against SD82 superintendent

“The repercussions of her actions are now creating a divide in the community”: union

Ninety-nine per cent of teachers within the Coast Mountain Teachers’ Federation in CMSD82 have passed a ‘non-confidence’ vote in Superintendent Katherine McIntosh.

On June 5-6, members of the Kitimat District Teachers’ Association (KDTA), the Terrace District Teachers’ Union (TDTU) and the Upper Skeena Teachers voted overwhelmingly in favour of a declaration of non-confidence in the superintendent, who has held the position for the last five years.

A letter signed by TDTU president Michael Wen and KDTA Kim Meyer addressed to Board of Education Chair Shar McCrory, which outlined the reason for the vote.

“As you are likely aware, there has been a difficult relationship between Coast Mountains Teachers’ Federation and Ms.McIntosh,” the letter reads.

READ MORE: BC First Nation organization wants province to intervene at SD82

“We have a number of concerns about her actions as well as her communications to teachers and other employees of the District. Further, we are concerned that the repercussions of her actions are now creating a divide in the community at large, as evidenced by recent parent rallies.”

The letter continues to ask the Board of Education to discuss their concerns in person.

The concerns mentioned are not detailed within the letter, but likely include the recent reassignment of three popular administrators within the district, announced on April 25.

CMSD 82 said current Skeena Middle School principal Phillip Barron and vice-principal Cory Killoran would be leaving their administrative positions for teaching positions this fall, along with Suwilaawks Community School principal Pam Kawinsky.

An outpouring of confusion, frustration and anger followed from teachers, parents, and community members, demanding answers and transparency from the district as to how these decisions would be in the best interest of students. All three administrators are considered to go ‘above and beyond’ for their children.

Kermode Friendship Society and BC Aboriginal Association of Friendship Centres have also written letters to the Ministry of Education advocating that these administrators stay in their positions.

READ MORE: Suwilaawks parents angry over district’s principal change-up

The letter also says this action was done without any consultation with Indigenous families, which is in violation of their signed Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement with SD82. Suwilaawks’ student body of kindergarten through Grade 6 is 82 per cent Indigenous.

Repeatedly, the superintendent and board chair have said they cannot detail specific information about the reassignments because of privacy concerns.

There have been no allegations of wrongdoing against the administrators from either the district, teachers or parents.

McIntosh has told the Terrace Standard before the non-confidence vote that stakeholder consultation was not necessary because these decisions involved the reassignment of existing personnel within the district, not new hires. Before the votes were tallied, she did say in light of the feedback they are committing to reviewing the district’s process.

Parents are planning to protest the decisions by walking into Skeena Middle School and Suwilaawks Community School between 12:15-12:30 p.m. on June 12. Parents will meet with their students wearing either red, pink or green shirts during the school’s lunchbreak. Afterwards, students will return to their classes. A parent-led petition has also gained 800 signatures to date. A parent-led petition has also gained 800 signatures to date.

The Terrace Standard has reached out to Superintendent Katherine McIntosh and the Ministry of Education for comment.

CORRECTION – Students will not be leaving school for the rest of the afternoon for the protest on June 12 as previously stated in the article. Instead, they will be gathering for a demonstration on the school lawns, returning back to class afterwards.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Terrace Search and Rescue teaches water safety and wilderness skills at Furlong Bay

Partnering with Lakelse Watershed Stewards Society, public is encouraged to be cautious outdoors

Terrace’s Aquatic Centre hosts first Float and Show event

Approximately 100 attendees came out to watch Finding Nemo on their floaties

New fire response vehicle for New Hazelton

RDKS will pass the keys for the new water tender Aug. 23

Volunteer gathers supplies, donations for Terrace homeless

“We need to start doing something before it’s too late,” says Miriam McKay

As population ages, City of Terrace brings back healthy lifestyle program for seniors

The Choose to Move program will offer coaching and peer support

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read