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'With mixed emotions,' deBruijn to retire

November 24, 2015 11:12 A.M.

After serving School District 73 for 39 years, two of them in its senior management position, superintendent Karl deBruijn will retire in July 2016.

School board chairwoman Denise Harper announced deBruijn’s plans at Monday’s regular meeting. DeBruijn succeeded former superintendent Terry Sullivan in 2014.

“It’s with mixed emotions I’m retiring,” DeBruijn said.

He said Tuesday that the early notice will enable school board to undertake an extensive search for a replacement.

“I think it’s really good timing,” he said, noting the gradual introduction of My Education B.C., the new student reporting system, will be completed by then.

From the South Kamloops secondary Class of ’72, he started with the school district in 1977 while doing a teaching practicum out of SFU. His earliest chores included groundskeeping. He started as an elementary teacher before taking on administrative roles that included serving as principal of McQueen Lake Outdoor School, one of his career highlights.

“Another highlight is a common element and that is the great people I’ve been able to work with — teachers, support staff, kids and parents.”

DeBruijn occasionally encounters former students in the community.

“It’s certainly been a challenge, but what makes it worthwhile is when you see young people talking on responsible roles in society, many of whom are products of the school system,” he said. “That’s a great reward.”

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