Parksville Qualicum school district searches for stability

School District 69 has been without an official superintendent since March

Acting superintendent of schools Rollie Koop thinks our district desperately needs leadership stability, and that’s why he made a request to the board to run current administrative appointments until the end of this school year.

Koop has been at the board office for five years and since that time the superintendent position has been turned over twice, as has the assistant secretary-treasurer position and the HR manager position. Other leadership roles that have changed hands in the last five years include secretary-treasurer, HR assistant, IT manager and operations manager. There are also four new trustees, only one with experience in the public education sector, Koop said.

“That is a great deal of leadership change and presents significant succession issues,” he said in an e-mail.

This succession challenge, brought on by an aging cohort of educational and business operations leaders, he said, is being felt by many other districts, leaving fewer individuals willing to take on the challenge of district-level leadership.

This is why the local district has had to extend job postings outside of B.C., he said.

The board recently agreed to Koop’s request and announced an extension to the acting appointments of superintendent, assistant superintendent and director of instruction until the end of this school year.

The previous superintendent of schools, Jim Ansell, stepped down from his position in March, when Koop took over the position. A search began then to fill the position in the Spring, but in June the board extended the timeline for the search, citing that three out of the five candidates pulled out of the selection process to take other offers.

The search was suspended in June and just re-initiated last week.  Koop was one of the candidates in the Spring, and said he has been encouraged by the board to reapply this fall.