Thursday, June 6, 2013

ONE BOARD TO RULE THEM ALL

It looks like I won the bet. John, you can drop the bottle of Jamesons off at the house!

The Provincial Government's transitioning of the English-language  school boards into one super-board is progressing well. We are barely into June and the new board has a C.E.O, a transition board (including the ELECTED CHAIRS of the old boards) and has posted a webpage that provides details of the transition.

Whether one agrees with the policy or not, one has to give credit to the Minister of Education for making this process as transparent, efficient and timely as possible. The logistics of pulling this all-together for the start of the 2013-14 school year makes for a daunting task for those put in charge of making it happen.

I was not surprised to learn that Darrin Pike was tasked with the job as the CEO/Director of Education-designate of the new provincial school district. Over the past decade I have had many dealings with the Eastern School District and the Department of Education.

Over that time, I have had my shares of up and downs with various CEO's and ministers. Unmet/delayed  commitments, changed plans, frustrations and a lot of lobbying of elected, and unelected officials, certainly provided me with enough experience to assess the cut of many of their player's jibs. There were many times when I felt played and questioned the process. I felt I could always count on Pike to keep the lines of communication open and find a solution.

Pike cut his teeth as as a classroom teacher and has served as teacher, principal, CEO of Newfoundland's largest school board, was Deputy Minister of Education and most recently Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Skills.

He is, without a doubt, the best person in this province to lead the new unified provincial school board.  He has unparallelled experience and is an excellent choice to implement the government's vision of primary, elementary and secondary education in our province.

As for the new board, that freight train is moving at quite a clip. One's time might be better spent   getting on-board and influencing things like the  governance of the new organization, where special services will be offered and policies.


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