When school doors opened for the first day of classes Tuesday, a new principal greeted more than 500 students at Stettler Elementary School.
Denise Campbell has been appointed to the position by the Clearview Public School Division.
“Denise brings with her varied experience in education, from teacher to special education co-ordinator to principal,” said Clearview superintendent John Bailey.
“We are looking forward to her new ideas to make Stettler Elementary even better and raise it a notch.”
Campbell takes over the reins from Pat Johnson, who was appointed interim principal for one year after the sudden passing of principal Rod McElroy just weeks before the 2011-12 school year.
“Pat stepped in and did a great job,” Bailey said of Johnson, who returns to her previous position as vice-principal.
Campbell recently returned from Saudi Arabia, where she was the lead principal at a private for-profit school.
“It was a unique experience, but I am glad to be back in central Alberta,” said Campbell, who is from Blackfalds and has two grown children and three grandchildren.
The majority of Campbell’s career has been in Alberta, with much of that experience with the Northland School Division. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta and obtained her master’s degree from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.
“I’m thrilled to be in Stettler — central Alberta is home to me,” Campbell said. “I’m impressed with the school division, the staff and the school itself.
“I’m looking forward to working with all the parents.”
Campbell believes that there’s a need to build a strong relationship between the school and the community.
“It takes a whole community to raise a child,” she said.
Campbell advocates an open-door policy at the school and is intent on building bridges to community support.
“I’d like Stettler Elementary to be the best elementary school in the division,” Campbell said.
Croker to lead colony schools
Bailey said the only other change in principal positions in the division is the appointment of Tim Croker as principal of all eight Hutterite colony schools.
The Hutterite school population in Clearview is 180 to 190 students.
Croker’s career spans 15 years of teaching experience, with 14 of those years spent at the Castor Colony school.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge — we have a great staff at the colony schools,” he said.
Croker said there’ll be a new teacher at the Byemoor Colony school and a couple of teachers will teach at different colonies this year.
Croker, who lives in Stettler, said he’ll continue to teach at Castor Colony, but will be out of the school at least one day a week, either at his office in Stettler, located in the Outreach School, or visiting other colony schools within the division.
Last year, the colony schools were overseen by Bailey, after the retirement of the longtime principal for all colony schools, Larry Scheerschmidt.