JoAnne Moiese has been appointed to the position effective January 1st.
She recently worked as the Lead Teacher for Little Chiefs Primary School operated by the Wiliams Lake First Nation, and Quesnel School Superintendent Sue-Ellen Miller says she is also not a stranger to the Quesnel area.
“One of the ways we met JoAnne is that she was doing some work with the Nazko band, and doing some work in the community, and one of the projects with students was making star blankets. Just before COVID hit we had Indigenous Day at the Helen Dixon Centre and a number of students were presenting their star blankets as gifts to other students or family members, and JoAnne had been very much a part of that project.”
Miller says Moiese has a solid education background that includes a Bachelor of Education degree from UBC where she was the valedictorian of her class, and she is currently working on a Master of Arts Degree through the University of Northern BC.
Moiese will take over from Patty Kimpton who was in the position for 10 years.
Miller credits her with putting the pieces in place to create a clear path to move forward with the work in Indigenous education.
“Patty started to put together some systems and structures and those pieces that allow us to do the work in a more deep and thoughtful way. She worked really closely with the Aboriginal Education Council and the indigenous communities themselves, and part of her job was being the Principal of Nazko Elementary, so she spent time in Nazko working directly with the community and the staff out there. She’s also supported our indigenous staff, so all of the indigenous education support workers in various schools throughout the District, the language and culture teachers, so she’s played a really important roll getting those pieces of the education process in place, so that they set up students and staff to be able to do this work in a more thoughtful way.”
It has been a Board of Education goal for decades to close the gap between indigenous students and non-indigenous students when it comes to graduation.
Miller says at one time it was as much as 20 points, but in 2019-2020 she says it was down to just 0.8 points.