School District 54 (SD54) is saying goodbye to Chris van der Mark after eight years of service as superintendent.
Van der Mark began the position in 2011.
He says that one of the most important lessons he learned in his time was the importance of communication between all parties involved in education.
“You often get special interest groups that want x but that might not be best for all kids in the district,” he explains.
“At the end of the day, you work through your challenges by trying to have as effective and clear communication as you can.”
Van der Mark adds that, for a smaller northern district, he was very pleased with what the area has achieved over the years.
“We’ve developed some really interesting partnerships with various groups, especially around trades … for kids to be credentialed in meaningful transitions that appeal to them.”
In his new role, van der Mark will once again fill the position of superintendent at SD27 in Williams Lake.
But he says he will miss his time in the valley.
“A big thanks to the kids and parents and staff in the valley for letting me share this time and have this time be a part of my learning experience as well,” he said.
Van der Mark’s last day as superintendent was yesterday.
His position is being filled by Michael McDiarmid, who was previously the assistant superintendent for SD54.