Public board approves teacher deal

The Rainy River District School Board approved a four-year contract with local occasional elementary teachers at its regular meeting here Tuesday night.
“We feel that both parties left the table satisfied with the outcome, and are pleased that our students will continue to be supported by our ETFO occasional teachers,” said Education Director Jack McMaster.
The contract, effective Sept. 1, 2004-Aug. 31, 2008, includes a wage increase to the daily rate, which will be $197.72 by the end of the agreement.
Occasional teachers fill in for both short- and long-term periods when regular teachers are ill or absent. They possess the same qualifications as regular teachers.
“The board provides many opportunities for teacher professional development, and our occasional teachers help make that possible,” McMaster noted.
“We rely on our occasional teachers to ensure that student learning continues in as seamless a manner as possible when a regular teacher is out of the classroom,” echoed Linda Hill, assistant superintendent of education.
“We’re pleased that we’ve reached a settlement that supports students, as well as the interests of both the teachers and our board,” she added.
The Rainy River District Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario Occasional Teacher Local represents 93 members from Rainy River to Atikokan.
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, the board appointed Heather Campbell as superintendent of education, effective this Sept. 1.
Campbell, currently the principal at J.W. Walker School, has been working in public education for 10 years.
She has had positions of increasing responsibility within both the elementary and secondary panels, as a high school English teacher, Secondary Curriculum Co-ordinator, and elementary vice-principal and principal.
“The Rainy River District School Board is such a progressive board, with such initiatives as its mentoring program, its focus on aboriginal achievement, its work in literacy and numeracy instruction, and its leadership development,” Campbell said.
“I am looking forward to this challenge and am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with all stakeholders to provide success for our students,” she added.
“Heather is a dynamic leader who has demonstrated great caring for students,” McMaster said.
“She brings creativity, integrity, and understanding of elementary and secondary curriculum requirements for improving student achievement,” he noted.
“I am excited about working with Heather in her capacity as superintendent of education.”
Campbell holds a Masters of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Education degree, and presently is finishing the final component of her Supervisory Officer’s Qualification Program.
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, the board:
•recognized the contributions of principals and vice-principals in its monthly REACH program;
•congratulated Crossroads School for its partnerships with local First Nations organizations and their contributions to the work of educational support staff; and
•approved a modified school year calendar for 2006-07.
The board next will meet Tuesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at the North Star Community School in Atikokan.