Fort Simpson’s Łı́ı́dlı̨́ı̨́ Kų́ę́ Elementary School and Łı́ı́dlı̨́ı̨́ Kų́ę́ Regional High School will have separate principals come the new year.
The two schools currently share a principal and vice principal in Marty Leach and Will Magno respectively.
From January, Leach will become principal of the elementary school while Will Magno will become acting principal of the high school.
The schools’ district education authority, or DEA, requested the change.
Philippe Brulot, superintendent of the Dehcho Divisional Education Council, said the schools had originally shared a principal and vice principal to ease students’ transition from Grade 6 to Grade 7.
“It’s a big gap when you’re that age,” Brulot said. “You’re walking into the high school and sometimes you don’t know anyone, you don’t know the teachers, you don’t know the principal.
“We found that if the principal could work over the two schools and, of course, have a vice principal to help out, they could get to know the elementary kids and it could facilitate that transition.”
Brulot says that plan worked but the Covid-19 pandemic placed additional strain on the principal.
“The DEA realized that for the sake of the principal, for their mental health, it was better to split the two schools,” he said.
“We’re happy because we got what we initially wanted, which is for the kids to get to know the administration of the high school.”
In a school newsletter posted to Facebook, Magno said he’s looking forward to his new role at the high school.
“I have enjoyed my time at the elementary school getting to know all of the students and families. Being able to create and foster those relationships has helped me to become a better person and educator,” Magno wrote.
“I am very excited for this new opportunity and I am really looking forward to the consistency of working at one school.”
Magno will be the principal until the end of the school year, at which point the position will be advertised.
School is currently out for students in Fort Simpson, who return on Tuesday, January 5.