Special advisor Mike McKay has been appointed to provide assistance to the SD27 board and staff to implement recommendations developed by education specialist Dianne Turner in a report to the minister earlier this year. (Greg Sabatino photo)

Special advisor Mike McKay has been appointed to provide assistance to the SD27 board and staff to implement recommendations developed by education specialist Dianne Turner in a report to the minister earlier this year. (Greg Sabatino photo)

Special advisor appointed by education ministry to help implement recommendations

The Ministry of Education has appointed a special advisor to address concerns in the district

A special advisor appointed by the Minister of Education is wasting little time beginning his work in School District 27.

Special advisor Mike McKay has been appointed to provide assistance to the SD27 board and staff to implement recommendations developed by education specialist Dianne Turner in a report to the minister earlier this year.

McKay arrived in Williams Lake alongside Assistant Deputy Minister Keith Godin Wednesday morning to begin conversations with the board, staff and other stakeholders. McKay will be working in his role as special advisor until the end of December, 2018, with further consideration at that time.

Turner, meanwhile, was directed to assess concerns brought forward by the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association (CCTA) in a vote of non-confidence in the board, the superintendent and the secretary-treasurer taken last November.

Turner’s recommendations focused on improving governance, business practices, communication, culture and relationships in SD27.

SD27 Board of Education Chair Tanya Guenther said she welcomes the appointment of McKay.

“We welcome Mr. McKay’s involvement in our district to work with the board, staff and stakeholders to implement actions to address Ms. Turner’s recommendations,” Guenther said in a release.

“We stated in a recent letter to the Minister that our board and staff are committed to implementing actions to respond to the recommendations. We see this as an opportunity to improve relationships with all our stakeholders and to request their help to improve the educational experience for our students.

“Mr. McKay is recognized as an experienced education specialist and we look forward to working with him for the benefit of the district.”

The board added it is appreciative of the minister’s support in addressing concerns in the district to ensure student achievement remains its focus while they rebuild relationships with stakeholders.