PORT HARDY—After serving as assistant to two School District 85 superintendents of education, Katherine McIntosh will jump up to the top job later this year.
In School District 82.
McIntosh, who will depart Vancouver Island North for the Coast Mountain School District this spring, was congratulated and recognized for her work her during the regular monthly board of trustees meeting Monday evening at the school district office.
“It is with great regret that I congratulate Katherine McIntosh on her new position as principal of …” newly re-elected board chair Leightan Wishart started before realizing his faux pax.
“Do you know something I don’t?” McIntosh replied with a small smile as other trustees laughed.
“… oh, as superintendent of School District 82,” Wishart amended. “We wish you well on your future endeavours.”
Wishart said the SD85 board will seek to continue its current course by hiring a new assistant superintendent, to begin the job by the start of the 2014-15 school year. McIntosh, despite leaving prior to the end of the current year, is expected to be involved in the transition.
“We need good, quality people,” Wishart said. “We feel if we only look for a director, rather than an assistant superintendent, we won’t seek the people we’d really like to attract.”
McIntosh, who holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta and a Master’s of Education from the University of British Columbia, has been part of SD85’s senior management team for the past six years. She served as assistant superintendent under Kathy Bedard before current superintendent Scott Benwell assumed the top spot prior to the 2012-13 school year.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure as a new superintendent to come in and work with the strength of the senior management team that I inherited,” said Benwell. “And Katherine has been a huge part of that, obviously. You have a passion for learning and for people. You put the right things first, and I know that will continue.”
McIntosh will succeed Nancy Wells, who accepted the SD82 superintendent’s job on an interim basis in the fall of 2010 but whose contract, according to an article in the Terrace Standard, was extended as its board searched for a permanent replacement.
“I would like to thank all of the trustees for the past six years for giving me the opportunity to work with you, and also the previous trustees who are no longer at this table,” said McIntosh, who went on to recognize Bedard, Benwell, secretary-treasurer John Martin and the district staff. “I feel that I have learned much from this district and this role.
“I feel very confident to go forward into my next position, but it’s because of the learning opportunities that were provided to me here.”
McIntosh has worked in five school districts across two provinces in her career in education.
She came to North Vancouver Island in 2008 follow 10 years in Powell River, where she worked as a teacher, literacy coordinator, vice-principal and principal in School District 47.
McIntosh made news last fall for a very different reason, when she and her husband, RCMP corporal Carl McIntosh, were attacked by a large and aggressive male cougar while walking with their dogs near their Port McNeill home on Mine Road. That animal was later treed and destroyed, not far from the location of the attack.