By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent
The students, parents and staff of Christ-King Catholic School in Stettler are welcoming the new school year by welcoming a new principal too.
Brad LeMaistre brings a wealth of experience with him from both the U.S. and Canada, and he was eager and enthusiastic the first week of school. “I’m new for this year,” he said in his office Sept. 6.
He said he spent time over the summer getting accustomed to his new home and position. Even in the summertime there’s work to be done at the school, including hiring staff, facility upgrades, and more.
He said one of the best parts of his summer was watching how much effort the staff at Christ-King School put in as they prepared for the 2017-18 school year.
LeMaistre said the Christ-King staff has high expertise, and are professional team players who can look ahead to see the big picture. “I think we’re blessed here,” said LeMaistre.
“I’m very impressed. It’s one of the most impressive team of teachers with which I’ve ever worked”
He said his expectations are being regularly exceeded. “They’re just masters of their craft,” he added.
LeMaistre is an experienced school administrator; he’s worked as head of a math department, coordinator of a technology grant program and worked at schools in Calgary as well as in the U.S. and at a university in South Korea. He is a native Calgarian.
In his spare time LeMaistre has engaged in scuba diving.
“Since I don’t have children of my own, that’s why the kids at school have always been so important to me,” he said.
LeMaistre said he understands and encourages the Christ-King staff’s commitment to high academic standards and is prepared to support the school staff to an equally high level of professional growth, including faith growth.
The new principal noted Christ-King has a dynamic student profile, nearly half of the school is not Catholic. But he feels one part of that might be the strong family bond the Christ-King community has, including a liturgy every week. “That sense of belonging is very important,” said the principal.
Unique programs and offerings set Christ-King apart too, he noted. For example, the school has the Little Steps playschool program headed by the very popular Marilize Schnetler. He said it’s a fantastic, recognized program that’s taking registrations throughout the year.
Looking at the school community, LeMaistre said seeing an educational assistant in every classroom impressed him and knows Christ-King can meet the needs of students very well.
The new principal said his experience in Stettler has been bright. “I am thrilled to be part of the Stettler community,” said LeMaistre. He said everyone he’s met has been warm, welcoming and very neighbourly.
“I feel blessed and thankful to have been hired at Christ-King School,” he added.