Staffing changes highlight new school year

Schools in the Lower Similkameen buzz with activity Monday as new school year begins

Alice Wiman

Alice Wiman



It was another hectic first day of school for students and staff at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School September 3 as the doors swung open for the start of another year of studies in Keremeos and the Lower Similkameen.

Students and teachers appeared to be enthusiastic and ready to go early Monday. Halls were filled with many students  getting reacquainted with each other after a summer apart, while  others scanned posted messages in the foyer to find out where home room would be this year.

This year’s session begins at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School with a few staffing changes.

– Heather Lessard   returns to SESS after  several years absence to teach science and biology.

– Sarah Chobotar has taken a full time position to teach English and social studies.

– Ceilia Brower will be teaching grade six, filling in for Chantel Richmond who is on maternity leave.

– Nina Ruck comes to SESS from the Boundary region, teaching French.

– Graeme Baerg comes to SESS from Oliver to teach English and drama classes.

– Ryan Baptiste, student teacher, will teach math and phys ed. He  was a student teacher with SESS last year, and is a fully qualified teacher now.

– Two student teachers will be working with elementary school staff. A new program to SESS this year is “Jupiter grades,” an online program that allows parents to log in to teachers’ grade books through their email accounts, providing  parents with the opportunity to check for students missing assignments, teachers disciplinary comments, etc.

Things were also busy at Cawston Primary Monday morning as staff dealt with a higher than projected enrollment.

“It’s good news for us,” said Cawston Primary Principal Linda Thiel. “We are excited to be starting another year at the ‘sunflower school.’”

New teaching staff include Mrs. Church, Mrs. Snow, and Mrs. Lange. Mrs. Hunt will be taking over secretarial duties formerly  filled by Mrs. Schneider, who retired this year after long service at Cawston Primary.