School District 70 (Pacific Rim) has started the search for a new superintendent of schools after current superintendent Greg Smyth announced he will be retiring at the end of this school year.
Smyth submitted a letter to the board of education in December, announcing his intention to retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year.
During a virtual Jan. 11 board of education meeting, board chair Pam Craig said it was “very difficult” to receive that announcement.
”He has been an excellent superintendent and the board has benefitted greatly from his recommendations with careful, measured research,” she said. “We are so pleased for him and wish him all the best in his retirement, but now we have a big job ahead of us to find someone to take his role as superintendent.”
Smyth arrived at School District 70 in 1996 and worked as a principal at the old Alberni District Secondary School location on Burde Street for nine years.
He moved to the board office in 2004, working first as the supervisor of instruction and then as the assistant superintendent. He took the helm from outgoing superintendent Cam Pinkerton back in 2014.
With the announcement of Smyth’s retirement, the board of education has contracted Dr. Keven Elder to assist with the search process for a new superintendent. Elder attended the board meeting on Jan. 11 to introduce himself to the board and the greater community.
Elder explained that the hiring process will include broad consultation with the school district, including its partners and community members. This will include meetings with local First Nations and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.
“It’s my intention to bring to you the views of as many partners, community members and constituents as I possibly can,” said Elder.
He said he has been sending invitations out to various groups in the community to start a dialogue, asking what’s working in the district now, what the challenges will be going forward and what people are looking for in their next superintendent.
Elder expects a posting to go out at the end of January or in early February, with interviews to take place in April.