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‘Singing superintendent’ Saywell retires from Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools

Scott Saywell helped advance truth and reconciliation, sang about school closures during 30 years
Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent, has announced his retirement. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)

The “singing superintendent” is stepping down from Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools.

In a press release issued Friday, May 31, Greg Keller, Nanaimo-Ladysmith school board chairperson, announced Scott Saywell has retired after 30 years serving the district. Keller said Saywell spent his career dedicated to improving life chances for the district’s most vulnerable students.

“Scott was a champion for truth and reconciliation and he had advanced work in that area, he was an advocate for many of our students, especially those who were in our alternate programs and we wish him the best in the future,” Keller told the News Bulletin.

Saywell gained viral fame over the years, making school snow closure announcements while singing and playing guitar and posting videos to the school district’s YouTube page.

“We appreciated Scott’s ability and willingness to show leadership by being our ‘singing superintendent’ from time to time, and also his ability and willingness to take risks where he thought it would benefit students,” said Keller.

Saywell for his part, said he was grateful for his time in the school district.

“Throughout my career, I have been inspired by the dedication and commitment of [school district] staff,” Saywell said in the press release. “Day in and day out, you go above and beyond to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed. Your passion for teaching, your support for our students and your relentless pursuit of excellence have been the driving force behind any success our district has realized.”

Laura Tait will continue as acting superintendent for the time being, Keller said, and the school district will conduct a search for Saywell’s successor “open to all qualified candidates.”

In Jan. 2021, it was announced that Saywell signed a four-year contract renewal, which was to expire July 1, 2025.

RELATED: SD68’s singing superintendent wins award, but not Grammy

Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

I joined Black Press in 2010 and cover education, court and RDN. I am a Ma Murray and CCNA award winner.
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