Campbell River’s superintendent of schools and CEO for School District 72 (SD72) is now also the president of the BC School Superintendents’ Association (BCSSA).
At the final meeting of the Campbell River school board for the calendar year – held Tuesday – Tom Longridge was congratulated by the board and explained what his role will entail.
As president of the association that represents about 340 senior education officials, including all 60 of the province’s school superintendents, as well as assistant superintendents, associate superintendents, “and in some cases, district principals,” Longridge says, “quite often we are drawn into close communication with the Ministry (of Education) in regard to providing advice and supporting all the members throughout B.C. that are involved in district senior leadership. We also have our own strategic plan and are implementing that and our own professional development initiatives in regard to building capacity within the organization.”
The BCSSA also, Longridge says, partners with other organizations – such as the BC School Trustees’ Association – “to hold meetings and communicate and collaborate to move opportunities for students forward in B.C.”
Trustee John Kerr says it will be nice for the BCSSA to have a president that comes from a smaller school district, to make it less likely that smaller districts’ voices will be drowned out by larger ones.
“I think it will be really great to have someone with experience outside the Lower Mainland and someone with experience in a mid-size school district leading that association,” said Trustee John Kerr. “I think that when overwhelming districts like those in the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Prince George, Kamloops and Kelowna come in, there will be someone at the table who can say, ‘this is the reality for the rest of us.’”
Trustee Richard Franklin also offered his congratulations, adding that he has known Longridge “for a long time, and from those early days until now, there’s a consistency to how much he respects and honours all learners, and I know he will be a strong voice for children in this province.”
Longridge’s role as president of the BCSSA will be in addition to his duties with SD72.