New superintendent for Nanaimo picked

Nanaimo school trustees have chosen a new top administrator.

Nanaimo school trustees have chosen a new top administrator.

Dave Hutchinson, a superintendent of instruction and school services with Regina Public Schools, takes over from outgoing Nanaimo superintendent of schools Mike Munro in August.

Hutchinson, 49, has 23 years experience as an educator, including 13 as a senior manager.

He started his teaching career on a First Nations reserve in Saskatchewan. Hutchinson’s experience also includes a stint as a language arts consultant with a focus on integrating Aboriginal content for the Saskatchewan government, secondary school vice-principal and then assistant superintendent in Thompson, Manitoba, and superintendent in Regina, where he’s been for the last nine years.

As one of six superintendents for Regina, Hutchinson was in charge of the inner city schools and spent several years working with a colleague to advance self-regulated learning initiatives, where students take responsibility for their own education.

Hutchinson also helped both Thompson and Regina develop system-wide aboriginal education policies, and helped form an aboriginal advisory committee and elder-in-residence program in Regina. Elders now enter 31 Regina schools to do counselling and curriculum work and help develop school-level education goals.

“The impact on students, in particular creating a sense of belonging, has been profound,” he said.

Hutchinson said his background in aboriginal education and self-regulated learning in inner city schools is one reason he chose to apply for the Nanaimo position, as this district has a similar demographic to Regina.

“On the other hand, it’s a beautiful place,” he added.

Sharon Welch, school board chairwoman, said Hutchinson was picked from a list of about a dozen applicants, four of whom were shortlisted.

“We really liked the fact that he had a significant background with aboriginal people,” she said.

Welch said candidates were interviewed twice, by trustees and by a panel representing all stakeholder groups, including a student representative, which gave feedback to trustees.