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Sooke School District superintendent to retire

Scott Stinson has served as superintendent for Sooke Schol District since 2018
Sooke School District superintendent Scott Stinson is retiring after 37 years in public education. (File - Black Press Media)

School’s out for Scott Stinson.

After a 37-year career in public education, Stinson, superintendent of the School District has announced his retirement.

Ravi Parmar, the last remaining trustee from the board that hired Stinson in 2018, said he was proud to be part of that process.

“At the time, we were looking to replace Jim Cambridge after nine years,” said Parmar, who has stepped away from his role as chair of SD 62 while he seeks the NDP nomination in former B.C. premier John Horgan’s riding. “We were looking for someone with experience headed in the same direction as the board in dealing with the growth challenges in the district.”

At the time, Parmar said no one could have predicted that everyone would be thrust into such an uncertain future.

“Not only did Scott exceed our expectations, but he was a most capable leader during one of the most challenging periods in the district’s history, dealing with COVID, record enrolments, an inflationary crisis impacting our community, and so much more. Scott is a remarkable educator and visionary who will truly be missed.”

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Stinson, who notified the board of his plans to retire in April, will continue in his role as superintendent until the end of the calendar year.

“It has been an honour to spend the last several years of my career serving the students, staff and families of the Sooke School District,” Stinson said.“I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish together, and I will spend the next months ensuring that the district continues on a positive trajectory towards a path of equity, inclusion and progress for everyone. It hasn’t always been easy considering the challenges, but we always worked hard to make the best decisions for students and families.”

Stinson began his career teaching in Burns Lake before returning the the Greater Victoria area, where he taught at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels. He moved on to administrative positions as district curriculum co-ordinator, vice-principal, principal, and district principal, and was serving as associate superintendent for the Saanich School District when he was appointed as superintendent for SD 62.

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Interim board chair Amanda Dowhy said the board will now begin the process of looking for a new candidate.

“Scott has led with integrity and kindness, he’s been a champion for the Sooke School District, and we are grateful for the time he has spent with us,” Dowhy said in a media release. “We will be looking for a candidate who will continue to advance the district’s organizational maturity and will work to ensure our school communities are engaging, innovative, and inclusive.”

Stinson said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and getting back to the activities he loves, which include tennis, golfing, and surfing while he continues to support public education and his colleagues.

“I’m not hanging out a shingle after 37 years, but if there’s a role to play and someone needs a helping hand where I can assist, I would be happy to do it if the work comes my way,” he explained. “My wife retired at the end of January and my daughter will be finishing her teaching certificate at the same time I retire, so I guess you could say our family’s come full circle.”

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