School leadership team sees changes

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Palliser Regional Schools’ leadership team will gain from some fresh perspectives this school year, with four new principals.

Leanne Hellman is the new principal at County Central High School in Vulcan. For the previous two years she held the position of Head of Secondary School at the Canadian International School in Abu Dhabi, United Emirates.

Hellman began her teaching career at Father Lacombe High School in Calgary, where she taught physical education and sports medicine and also coached senior football, rugby, volleyball and basketball. She went on to Crescent Heights High School in Medicine Hat, where she was physical education lead teacher and later vice-principal.

She believes students and staff thrive and succeed in a setting that pairs high expectations with a nurturing environment and sees her role as supporting teachers in providing the best possible educational experience for students.

Susan Malkinson McAllister is no stranger at Master’s College in Calgary. Before accepting the position of principal this year, she served as vice-principal at Master’s for a decade.

Malkinson McAllister began her teaching career in Fort McMurray and has been with Master’s as a teacher since 1999. She completed her Master’s of Education degree with a focus on effective small schools and believes the advantages of smaller schools is evident in that the best learning happens when students know they are known and valued.

As a Global Impact team leader she has been involved with Master’s students building playgrounds in developing countries. As such, Malkinson McAllister has seen how authentic learning connected to a larger contribution can light a fire in students.

Crystal McGregor has been appointed to the role of principal at John Davidson School in Coaldale.

McGregor began her teaching career at Chamberlain School in Grassy Lake and later became vice-principal in 2012. She later assumed the role of principal at Taber Mennonite School and was most recently the Literacy and English Language Learner Coach.

With considerable experience working with English Language Learners, McGregor understands the need for responsive teaching strategies to support students both academically and socially, providing extracurricular support and ensuring best practices in instruction and intervention.

Jane Thomas is the new principal at Horizon Leadership Academy in Calgary.

Thomas began her teaching career in Korea and then the United Arab Emirates before she moved to a ‘fly-in’ community in northern Manitoba. There she served as a teaching principal and then principal, before moving to Slave Lake, AB. to accept a position as principal.

A strong believer in advocating for diversity and inclusion, Thomas says she can’t imagine a more exciting place to live, work and experience life than with Horizon Leadership Academy under the umbrella of Palliser Regional Schools.

Harry Fritschy is back at Calgary Christian Secondary School, this year in the role of interim principal.

Fritschy is no stranger, having served as principal of both the elementary and secondary schools at Calgary Christian from 2002 to 2014. He then accepted a position as principal at Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale until his retirement this past year.

One other change will see Wayne Street serve in the role of Acting Principal at Jennie Emery Elementary School in Coaldale until Dec. 31, 2018. Kristi Schooten (Van Doesburg) will continue as vice-principal.

Street has been a principal at Palliser Regional Schools at Kate Andrews High School, Coalhurst Elementary School, R.I. Baker Junior High School/Middle School, and Vulcan Prairieview Elementary. He more recently served as a research officer with the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge.

The first day of class for about 8,300 students in Palliser Regional Schools was Tuesday, Sept. 4.