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New leadership coming to School District 27 this fall

Management appointments announced
Williams Lake First Nation councillor Dancing Water Sandy, left, with Chief Willie Sellars, has been appointed the new principal of Dog Creek Elementary-Junior Secondary:(Photo submitted)

School District 27 has announced several new administrative changes for this fall semester.

Educators will work in different leadership roles to continue improving the learning environment at each school.

Mile 108 Elementary, Lac La Hache Elementary, Alexis Creek Elementary Junior-Secondary, Mile 108 Elementary, and 100 Mile Elementary, Horsefly Elementary-Junior Secondary can expect to see new faces this upcoming school year.

108 Mile House Elementary’s new principal will be Maria Telford, taking over from Mr. Doolan. Telford was previously the principal at 100 Mile House Elementary for the past six years. Prior to that, she had been principal of Horse Lake Elementary. Ms. Telford is an educational leader committed to kids and community and has worked tirelessly to support initiatives of teaching and learning forward in her school and the district.

She was also formerly principal at Horsefly Elementary throughout her long career educating children. Following her move to 100 Mile House, the principal role will be filled by Crystal Dawn Langton.

Lac La Hache Elementary will be joined by Mark Lewis as principal, following his year as principal at Alexis Creek Elementary-Junior Secondary. Lewis will now oversee the district’s distributed learning program GROW, which will now run out of Lac La Hache. The current principal Shawn Nelson is retiring after a long career as an educator.

At Dog Creek Elementary School, Dancing Water Sandy has been appointed principal after several years of experience teaching language and curriculum development. As a member of the T’exelmc First Nations community, she has taught Indigenous ways of knowing for years which could benefit Dog Creek School, noted School District 27 superintendent Chris van der Mark. Of the 5,800 students that School District 27 serves, around 1,400 identify as First Nations.

“Dancing Water has diligently dedicated the last five years to the role of language and curriculum development teacher for SD27. She brings invaluable lived experience as a member of the T’exelmc, the most northern community of the Secwepemc First Nations. Her strong stated commitment to teaching and leading through indigenous ways of knowing and doing is an incredible asset to Dog Creek School,” noted van der Mark. “Moreover, she has experience in the challenges and opportunities that exist in a rural learning environment. Dancing Water also brings a strong voice and unique perspective to the SD27 leadership team.”

The new district vice-principal, Career Education, a part of district succession planning will be Kelvin Parent. Parent will be supporting district principal, Dave Corbett in maintaining and expanding Careers, Trades, ADST and the emerging opportunities that now exist for students. Parent is a long-time educator in SD27 with experience as an administrator from 1999-2013. Most recently, he had returned to administration in 2021 as principal of Horsefly Elementary-Junior Secondary.

Calvin Williams will be taking over as principal at Horsefly after Mr. Parent’s move into District Office. Williams has had an extensive range of administrative experience in the district. Most recently, he has been principal of Skyline Alternate program, following roles as principal of Nesika Elementary.

Jennifer Loewen will be the new human resource manager. Loewen has been with SD27 for 18 years starting initially in central dispatch, then progressing to a HR secretary/assistant role and then on to the HR Officer for the past nine years. van der Mark noted most recently, Loewen has been an integral part of the modernization efforts in HR and payroll systems.

“Through Ms. Loewen’s work, we have been able to undergo a massive renewal of systems across all employee groups. Moreover, Jennifer has led this work while also working tirelessly on the recruitment and staffing front. Ms. Loewen’s work with the team has been critical in mitigating some of the impacts of province-wide workforce shortage.”

There are more role changes than in previous years. These changes will occur in September. On Tuesday (May 24), school superintendent Chris Van Der Mark announced the positions, congratulating the members on their new roles.