Four of five Iqaluit principals resign

Turnover “a huge issue”



IQALUIT – Four of Iqaluit’s five school principals have submitted their resignations.

And while total teacher resignations across the Baffin region are expected to be the same or slightly lower than last year when the deadline to submit them passes today, turnover remains “a huge issue” for the Baffin Divisional Education Council according to the council’s executive director, Cathy McGregor.

The council has accepted resignations from both principals at Iqaluit’s Inuksuk High School and the principal of Nakasuk Elementary School, said Kathy Smith, chair of the Iqaluit District Education Authority.

“I’ve been here four years and I think it’s about time I went home to be with my wife and couple of kids in Edmonton,” said Peter Hough, when asked why he is stepping down as principal of Nakasuk. “I thought it’d be a good idea, if I’m going to stay married, if I went home.”

Joamie Middle School principal Anna Delaney said her resignation has not been officially accepted yet. After heading up Joamie’s staff for one year, Delaney said she is resigning to attend to family and spend more time with her children.

About 50 Baffin-area teachers resigned in the Baffin last year, the BDEC’s McGregor said Wednesday. She estimated that about 35 Baffin teachers had resigned so far, with figures from Iqaluit, Apex and Sanikiluaq yet to come.

“We’re very concerned about turnover,” McGregor said, explaining that it takes a new teacher at least a year or two to get to know a community.

The education council began its recruiting drive in January and now has potential new principals lined up. But the number of teacher applicants has dropped from as many as 2,000 to an average of about 400 in recent years, McGregor said, adding that new job opportunities in the South are reducing the number of applicants.

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