NEWS File Photo A new hire at the Qualicum school district will get international students out of indoor classrooms and out on the Island.

New SD69 hire to give visiting students tours of Vancouver Island

Tour operator/rec. guide position newly created to broaden international student offering

School District 69 (Qualicum) has announced three new hires, two of which are for newly created positions.

A new Tour Operator/Recreational Guide position is meant to get international students out and about on the Island, and possibly beyond, and experience what the area has to offer.

SD69 superintendent Rollie Koop said the new position isn’t necessarily to attract more international students to the program (one of the international student program principals has previously said the program is nearly at capacity). Koop said the new position will help the school board “to remain competitive in a very competitive market with the students that we have recruited, and to ensure that they are getting the types of experiences that they’ve been looking for.

“And it facilitates getting kids out into the environment, when you have someone who both has a professional driver status as well as experience as an educator and a tour operator. It’s a pretty unique package.”

The part-time position includes giving students tours of the area, connecting them to experiential learning services through the district’s Global Rivers, Oceans and Mountains School (which gives students in general the chance to learn to surf and ski, and do things like avalanche training and search and rescue training), and transporting students to and from airports.

Ginny Heming was hired for the position.

“She will be supporting (through transportation, logistics, supervision, commentary and organization) experiential learning activities that take place within broader educational experiences, which may or may not be for credit,” Koop said in an email, adding that the position is not a teaching position.

The other newly created position is Health and Wellness Co-ordinator. Anna Phillips, a native of Qualicum Beach and a Kwalikum Secondary School graduate, was hired for the position.

The post is funded through money provided by the B.C. Ministry of Education. Phillips’ role will be “to determine appropriate accommodations, participate in disability management and Workers’ Compensation case management, and assist employees and their supervisors with attendance support programs or return to work programs,” according to a news release from Koop.

The other new hire is Brenda Paul, for the Director of Human Resources position.

She will be replacing JoAnne Shepherd, who is retiring.

“JoAnne has brought so much stability and expertise to our organization over the last five years that she’s been with us, so the spectre of losing her was a concern. But to know now that we’ve hired someone with not only two decades of experience in human resources, but the last eight of it in Sea to Sky district, which is a similar sized district to our own… is really, really exciting for us,” said Koop.

Shepherd retires this summer, he said.

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