The Campbell River School District expects about 30 more students this year. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River hopes to hire school superintendent by mid-October

Interviews with candidates will be set for Oct. 11 and 12

The school district is getting closer to hiring its new superintendent to replace Tom Longridge.

Board chair Susan Wilson updated the other trustees at Tuesday night’s board meeting about the hiring process.

“We’ve had a very productive week with meeting with the search agency, who have done a stellar job of advertising across Canada,” she said.

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The agency has provided the district with a list of potential candidates to consider for the position. Wilson said the district has been working to get more details on potential candidates.

The next phase will be when the district meets with candidates. The interviews are being set for Oct. 11 and 12, with an aim of hiring someone by the middle of the month.

“We’re pleased with the progress and we’re pleased we’ve been able to make this much progress in a relatively short period of time,” Wilson said.

In the meantime, retired Sooke superintendent Jim Cambridge has been filling on an interim basis since the start of September.

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Cambridge has been busy talking with administrators and staff at schools this month.

“I’ve been continuously impressed by the quality of staff that you have in your schools,” he told the board. “They’re outstanding people.”

He has also been setting up meetings with the heads of various partner groups such as the district parent advisory council, the teachers’ union and CUPE.

“I’ve had a number of conversations with those folks,” he said.

Cambridge was also impressed from his meeting with the Indigenous Advisory Council and the “richness of cultures” within the school district, citing the different bands with different needs throughout the area.

As well, he has been working with staff toward developing a new strategic plan for the district by providing some data for the new superintendent as well as the new board following next month’s elections.

Not everyone was pleased with the pace at which the district is hiring a replacement for Longridge. During the question period at the end of the meeting, one man asked whether the district had considered holding off hiring a new person until after the school board elections because of the possibility that some of the current trustees are not re-elected. Wilson responded that they had considered the advantages and disadvantages of waiting versus hiring someone soon but had opted for the latter.

“Certainly there are arguments both ways,” she said.

Wilson has been acclaimed as the trustee for Quadra Island, while newcomer Shannon Briggs has been acclaimed as the trustee for Sayward Valley. The remaining five Campbell River positions are being contested by a dozen candidates.