School District 69’s (Qualicum) International Student Program staff. Front row, from left: Sandie Wassbauer, Shahnora Mustafayeva and Jenny Atkinson. Back row, from left: Ross Pepper, Ronda Bell and Becky Breitsprecher. (Submitted photo)

School District 69’s (Qualicum) International Student Program staff. Front row, from left: Sandie Wassbauer, Shahnora Mustafayeva and Jenny Atkinson. Back row, from left: Ross Pepper, Ronda Bell and Becky Breitsprecher. (Submitted photo)

Retiring Qualicum school district principal Rhonda Bell receives provincial award

Bell accepts Distinguished Leadership Award through B.C. Council for International Education

Ronda Bell, retiring district principal of the Qualicum School district’s International Student Program (ISP), never imagined she would be recognized on June 25 by colleagues from around the province with the Distinguished Leadership Award through the BC Council for International Education (BCCIE).

This recognition is a culminating acknowledgement of Bell’s 38 years in public education, and notably of her recent leadership in international education, both locally and at the provincial level. As the recipient this year, Bell underscores the importance of collaboration and partnership in educational leadership.

“I am both honoured and humbled by this recognition,” she said. “It is really about being part of the broader ISP team that has allowed me to take on so many rewarding leadership opportunities. The support of my co-lead Ross Pepper and program staff, colleagues from across the district, the homestay families and the community has made this accomplishment possible.”

READ MORE: International student population reaching peak in Parksville Qualicum Beach

The Qualicum International Student Program has been in operation for 30 years and provides world-class academic and cultural opportunities for hundreds of students from 15 different countries alongside their Parksville Qualicum Beach peers, and welcomes more than 200 students from around the world every year.

Wishing her all the best in retirement, the Qualicum School District community congratulates Bell upon receiving the BCCIE Distinguished Leadership Award and thanks her for her contributions to the International Student Program.

The district would also like to recognize the many staff and families who have supported the program’s success over the years. The program is always seeking new homestay families and encourages those interested to visit the website to learn more about the program or to apply to become a host family at schoolincanada.ca.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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