Elaine Colgate is “bursting with excitement” about returning to the Cariboo for her new role as Mile 108 Elementary School principal.
The longtime educator has been working in the Lower Mainland for the past 10 years – most recently as principal of Chimney Hill Elementary in Surrey – following a 15-year teaching career in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and several years as principal of various Williams Lake schools.
“I am so excited to be coming back to the Cariboo,” Colgate said. “I haven’t been ready until the last year, and now I am really ready.”
With the majority of her family living in Williams Lake, Colgate said she is looking forward to returning to a tighter-knit town and a smaller school. Her current school in Surrey has 650 students.
“I think the biggest thing I’m looking forward to is reconnecting with the community,” she said. “That’s the thing that I’ve missed the most about living in a big city.”
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At Mile 108, she will have the opportunity to teach two mornings a week, something she said she has really missed and will help her forge stronger connections with the students.
She describes herself as “optimistic and energetic” and though she plans to start building connections within the school right away, she said she is “not coming in with an agenda.”
“In the years that I’ve been an administrator, that has never served me well,” she said. “It’s about becoming a part of the school community and building a team – with the staff, the kids and the community and deciding from there, where people want to grow and learn.”
The only aspect of her return to the Cariboo she is not overly excited about? The long, cold winters.
“I actually went shopping last weekend and bought a winter coat and winter boots,” Colgate laughed. “So I’ll be ready.”
As a mountain biker and downhill skier, however, she said she is thrilled to have so much outdoor recreation on her doorstep once she relocates at the end of June.
Colgate will be taking over as head of Mile 108 from Ken Lucks, who is retiring at the end of the school year.