Hutchinson steps down as Nanaimo school superintendent

NANAIMO – Trustees are expected to name Hutchinson's deputy John Blain as interim superintendent.

David Hutchinson is no longer superintendent for the Nanaimo school district and it is expected that John Blain, deputy superintendent, will be named the chief administrator in the interim.

Steve Rae, school board chairman, said it was announced Monday that Hutchinson resigned and is moving on to pursue other opportunities.

A motion to install Blain is scheduled for an in camera meeting Wednesday night. Rae said Tuesday that he didn’t anticipate any problems. The search for a new superintendent is to begin immediately.

Rae said the board will discuss how it will go about conducting the search and the goal is to select the right candidate. He is hoping Blain will apply for the position permanently.

“We’re going to make sure we get the right person and we feel comfortable with John as the acting [superintendent] for however long it takes to find the right person for the job, and it may very well be John,” said Rae. “I hope he puts his hat in the ring.”

Rae said the board was thankful for Hutchinson’s efforts the past three years and wished him the best. He admitted to being surprised by the announcement and said he talked at length to Hutchinson after he and new school board trustees were voted in after November’s municipal election.

Hutchinson and the previous board received criticism for the controversial 10-year facilities plan, which saw a number of school closures.

“Whether or not he was going to stay or go really hadn’t even entered my mind to be honest with you,” said Rae. “We’re just trying to get our feet wet. I talked to Dave right after the election. We] had a long talk about where we saw ourselves going in the future and it was very positive.”

The News Bulletin attempted to reach Hutchinson for comment but he has not immediately responded.

Rae said he couldn’t comment on whether there would be a severance package for Hutchinson.

“That’s a personnel issue that we’re not going to discuss publicly,” said Rae. “It’s confidential.”