School board’s last meeting of the school year resembled an airport terminal Monday night with a number of arrivals and departures, one in particular marking a significant last in a career spanning four decades.
District superintendent Karl deBruijn counted his final board meeting after two years in the top administrative position. He stepped in after the retirement of predecessor Terry Sullivan in 2013, knowing it would be a temporary move, and will be succeeded by assistant superintendent Alison Sidow.
“I want to express our very sincere appreciation for the work you have done throughout your career,” said Denise Harper, board chairwoman told deBruijn as the meeting wrapped up. “We will miss you.”
DeBruijn, who’s first job with the district was mowing lawns as a student in the early 1970s, reflected on an exciting and fulfilling career that took him down many roads. That included the road to McQueen Lake Environmental Centre, where he once took out a logging licence as school principal in order to build cabins.
“They’ve been an incredible group of people to work with,” he said.
He also said he was honoured and humbled to have the trust of parents of the kids he taught earlier in his career.
DeBruijn said he and his wife intend to remain in Kamloops, where he has family roots.
At the same time, John Churchley, district director of elementary instruction, is moving on to take an education faculty position at TRU. District principal Art Blackwell is also retiring.
The board also welcomed Rob Schoen as assistant superintendent, Jaime Robinson as director of instruction and Trish Smillie as director of student support services.
Other recent administrative appointments in the district include the appointment of Syd Griffith as principal of Kamloops School of the Arts (formerly Beattie School of the Arts), Cory Carmichael as principal of Barriere elementary and Dave MacDonald as principal of Chase secondary.