Superintendent’s resignation raises questions

School board chair Lynette Kershaw says Parksville Qualicum Beach School District 69 will fill position ‘as quickly as we can’

The public is asking questions, but work continues at the school district offices after the resignation this week of Superintendent Jim Ansell, says school board chair Lynette Kershaw.

“Any turnover of staff brings with it a change but we are dealing with it the best we can,” Kershaw said Wednesday. “I’m very confident in the staff we have.”

District 69 issued a news release Monday afternoon announcing Ansell’s resignation after The NEWS, responding to a tip, asked for comment Monday morning on what was just a rumour late last week. The release said Ansell was leaving to “pursue other opportunities in his educational career.” Ansell was hired in August, 2011 and his last day will be April 1.

Assistant superintendent Rollie Koop is currently the acting superintendent. Kershaw said Wednesday the district will issue another statement later this week or early next, in regards to the timing of the search to replace Ansell.

“The superintendent is a pivotal position and we’re looking to fill it as quickly as we can.”

The NEWS has heard from members of the public concerned about what’s happening at the district, which will have its third superintendent in two years. “I think the public deserves to know why (aside from the vague reference to other educational opportunities) he is resigning in the middle of the school year,” one person wrote on our Facebook page. “Was there some internal disagreement or problem with his working relationship within the board? If so, I think we should be told. The nature of the disagreements need not be specified, but it is highly unusual for a top administrator to leave in this manner.”