YK1 school district superintendent Metro Huculak is not expected to return to his job "for an extended period" after surgery last week, staff have been told.
A letter to employees from YK1 school board chair John Stephenson stated assistant superintendent Ed Lippert will assume all of Huculak's responsibilities for the immediate future.
Huculak had what YK1 termed "successful surgery" at a southern facility last week. The nature of his medical leave has not been publicized.
"Mr Huculak is currently out of the territory recovering and is expected to be out of the office for an extended period of time," Stephenson's letter read.
"At this time, nothing is more important than Mr Huculak's health and we wish him well over the coming weeks and months."
Huculak's medical leave and Lippert's appointment in an acting capacity were on the agenda at Tuesday night's regular meeting of the YK1 school board.
Stephenson, writing to staff, said there was "no definitive timeline" for Huculak's return.
"In Mr Huculak's absence, Mr Lippert – an experienced educator and administrator – will assume all of Mr Huculak's regular superintendent duties," the letter continued.
Last year, Lippert picked up an award for 20 years' service to YK1. He became assistant superintendent in July 2015, having previously been the principal at Yellowknife's Sir John Franklin high school.
Huculak, renowned for both his smile and love of perogies, is almost as well-known for his ability to evade retirement.
In 2017, he was reported to have pushed back his retirement every year since 2013 and admitted to NNSL he no longer had a planned retirement date.