New Sask. Rivers superintendent put focus on community engagement

·3 min read

Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division welcomed a new superintendent to the office at the beginning of August.

Garette Tebay holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Calgary, along with a masters degree from the University of Saskatchewan, which she earned in 2008. Tebay has worked in leadership roles for nearly 20 years, mostly in Fort MacMurray and the Parkland school divisions in Alberta.

She joins Sask. Rivers as superintendent with a focus on community engagement, and was eager to return to Saskatchewan after studying in the province.

“What made me want to come back to Saskatchewan would definitely be just the people and the pace of the province and being able to be part of a school division like Saskatchewan Rivers as well,” Tebay said. “There is a lot of potential here and a lot of things that I was really excited about being able to be a part of.”

In a press release at the time of her hiring, the school division touted Tebay for her advanced knowledge and specialized skills in engaging students, staff, and families, for embedding technology into teaching and learning, and for supporting safe and caring schools.

Tebay previously served as the Principal at High Park School in Stoney Plain Alberta. She views the move to administration as a chance to have an impact on a larger number of students.

“With the move from being a classroom teacher to being a building leader I was able to change that effect from my 20 kids I got to see every year to the couple hundred kids that were part of my school,” she explained. “Now, moving into a division role, I get to deal with the thousands of kids who are part of the school division and try to make their journey through education as successful as humanly possible.”

Tebey’s hiring filled a vacancy created by budget cuts a couple of years ago and brings the division to four superintendents. Before her hiring, three superintendents watched over all 32 schools in the division. Now that workload can be split among four.

“I am really excited to hear the stories of the community and hear how we at Saskatchewan Rivers can better our system to meet the needs of the community,” she said.

“I'm taking parts of other people's roles, but also kind of doing all those things that the other superintendents were doing off the side of their desk and maybe not necessarily getting the time and attention to that the Strategic Plan now commands that there should be some time and attention placed on it,” she said.

When the hiring was announced in March, Sask. Rivers director of education Robert Bratvold said it would result in greater support, better conversations, and more support for those schools. He also said it would help in dealing with community partners.

“Obviously, we have got teachers and principals doing some of that work, (and) we have been doing some of that work at the division office as well. This position will help to strengthen that presence and connection with our community,” Bratvold explained.

Tebay moved to Prince Albert at the end of July and is really impressed by the community. As a person who enjoys the outdoors, the location is ideal.

“I love the outdoors and hiking and walking and so being so close to so many great trails and just so many parks and lakes. I have been really enjoying being able to get out and explore,” Tebay said.

As was required for these kinds of positions in the province, the finalization of the appointment included approval of the Education Relations Board designation as Out of Scope as well as confirmation of membership as a qualified member of the League of Educational Administrators Superintendents and Directors.

The Sask. Rivers board invited students, their families, and division partners to join them in welcoming Tebay to Prince Albert.

Michael.oleksyn@paherald.sk.ca

Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald