A rural leader is lacking in Horsefly Elementary Junior Secondary School that has been without a principal for over 8 weeks now according to concerned parents.
Victor Khong says to understand the situation that they are in we have to look back 5 years ago.
“With the replacement principal who will be coming-if they come, we would have had 4 principals in five years. It’s very hard to build a team when you have that kind of change in leadership. We need the School District to own this situation.”
Parent, Abbie Wilson says that the administrator plays an extremely important role as they not only take on the administration, but help with PAC, teach part of the rural education, and teach grade 6/7 English.
“We recently received a two day a week teacher. That position has been filled but it’s been vacant (principal) since the beginning of September. I would like to have an administrator brought out immediately. It’s not fair to our students out here to try to succeed in life and go on to higher education if they’re not getting their primary education first.”
Wilson says although a teacher at the school has been placed as a Teacher in Charge, it is extremely unfair to place that role on an extended period of time to a teacher as it pulls them away from teaching their students.
Khong adds that they need the District to understand that they are one of the largest rural schools and they need to have somebody who is looking out for them and having a better vision for what their school could be.
He says that a petition that has received strong support will likely be presented early next week to Wintjes.
“If the School District doesn’t demonstrate the good faith that they are really trying to solve our problems we will picket their office on the first Pro-D Day in January,” says Khong noting communication protocols that denied them a delegation at a December 19 School Board Meeting is insulating school trustees from the reality of what is happening.
“We will not rest until we see a solution for our school because our children are children, they are not able to advocate for themselves. Failing children is not something that I want to have on my resume.”
Superintendent Mark Wintjes says that understands the frustrations of parents and assures that the District is doing whatever they can to assist the school in having it stabilized so they can have the students as well as the staff fully supported.
He confirms that the school’s principal had to step out on a leave and that they then moved down on a path to have them replaced and unfortunately that person is on a leave as well.
“What we’ve done at the school is we’ve asked the teacher in charge, Mr. Rob Kowalski to take on those responsibilities and I’ve asked Mr. Dean Coder our Director of Instruction to assist the school in whatever ways that they can, but Horsefly is also experiencing difficulty in attracting teachers to fill positions.”