Martin Morigeau students will see staffing changes this fall with the departure of Principal Gail Rines at the end of school last week.
J.A. Laird’s principal Jill Jensen will be doing a job-share position between the two schools. In addition, the school district’s plan is to hire a vice principal who will both teach and take on administrative duties within the Canal Flats school itself.
Jensen says the duties will be outlined more clearly in September once a vice principal is hired and they can discuss scheduling.
“I will definitely have some on-site time,” says Jensen. “The only change it makes for me is I won’t have classroom teaching time.”
This is not a new model in the district, explains Rocky Mountain School District 6 Superintendent Paul Carriere.
“We have had many situations before where we have had one person be the principal of two schools, and the vice principal works at the smaller of the two schools,” reports Carriere.
Candy Afonso, president of the Martin Morigeau parent advisory council, says while some parents are “sitting on the fence” about the decision, the sense from most parents is this is a good option for the school.
“I’m actually looking forward to it,” says Afonso. “With the vice principal having some teaching in the school, I think it’s going to give a big encouragement for the parents.”
Afonso say the vice principal will get to know the students and families in the school, while at the same time learning from Jensen, a seasoned principal. She reports that Mr. Carriere has kept Canal Flats families informed throughout the process and gave parents an idea of why this model was looking to be the best choice for this fall.
“Because we’re such a rural community, the people applying have degrees in teaching, but had never held an administrative position,” says Afonso. “This way it allows them to get more comfortable.”