Superintendent Reflects on School Year
Prince George, B.C. – It’s been an eventful first year on the job for superintendent of schools for the Prince George School District Marilyn Marquis-Forster.
She arrived just in time last summer for the new curriculum roll out in K-9 classrooms, the BCTF’s Supreme Court of Canada victory in November and the subsequent announcement that Springwood Elementary would be reopening in September, and with work to be done on the district’s new five-year Strategic Plan, ‘Inspiring Learning Anywhere.’
“It’s been such a busy year that we haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and say okay, what have we accomplished and how far have we come,” says Marquis-Forster. “But we’re really gratified and thankful for our staff and our community as we have faced those challenges to been able to work forward.”
She says one of the biggest highlights was the school board’s decision to approve the Strategic Plan which she says has created a working document that will enable the district to report back to the community on how they’re doing and how specific goals are being achieved.
“That was a huge task and it was a wonderful opportunity because as a new CEO, that opportunity was there waiting for me,” says Marquis-Forster. “It was really exciting to work with the stakeholders and to work with our principle leaders to bring that work to conclusion.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge was the BCTF’s court victory mandating the return of their contract language to 2002 levels.
“That was a huge challenge for us to meet and again, we’re very thankful to our staff for assisting us in that and our trustees for listening to the situation we were in and making good decisions,” she says.
“We had a very short timeline to be able to say yes, we are going to go ahead with the reopening of Springwood. Trustees made that bold move, staff stepped up to the plate and said yes we can co it and the community was supportive and have enrolled their children.”
And speaking of ‘stepping up to the plate,’ Prince George school board chair Tim Bennett says the Board has been very pleased with her performance so far.
“We were very fortunate when Marilyn agreed to join the team here at the district and she just hit the ground running,” he says.
“A lot of great work has been done this year in terms of operationalizing the Strategic Plan, helping our curriculum department with changes to the curriculumand as well, she had a brand-new assistant superintendent and we just hired another.
“So, now that her team is in place, we’re really looking forward to seeing the rollout of the operationalized Strategic Plan for September.”