Superintendent Dr. Paul Bennett announces retirement
For immediate release
August 21, 2020 – Dr. Paul Bennett, Superintendent of Schools for Peace River School Division (PRSD) officially provided his notice of retirement to the board of trustees at the regular board meeting held yesterday. Bennett is set to retire on August 31, 2021.
“Dr. Bennett is a true advocate for our students, staff, communities and public education - he will be greatly missed” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “He consistently demonstrates passion and dedication for student learning and fosters a culture of excellence, innovation and collaboration.”
Bennett’s 25 year career in PRSD began in 1994 as the principal at Worsley Central School and in 1997 he was appointed principal at Fairview Jr Sr High School (FHS). During his leadership role at FHS, he coordinated and led the opening of the Fairview and Area Learning Store. In 2007 Bennett was appointed as PRSD’s Deputy Superintendent and in 2009, was appointed as the Superintendent of Schools for PRSD. Bennett also provided school leadership in Northland School Division, Chinook’s Edge School Division, and in the former Bay d’Espoir Integrated School District in Newfoundland.
Some highlights of Bennett’s career in PRSD include the coordination and opening of the Fairview and Area Learning Store in 2005; the implementation and coordination of PRSD’s Student Engagement Teams, PRSD Student and Staff Recognition Programs, Superintendent/Teacher Advisory Committee; and his tireless work in building relationships and partnerships in PRSD communities. PRSD would like to note his significant progress in collaborating with PRSD’s Mennonite communities to provide educational opportunities and partnerships. Bennett wrote a thesis during his Doctorate of Education Program from Western University on this topic. During Bennett’s career, he also served as the President of the Peace River Rotary Club and President of the Zone 1 College of Alberta Superintendents. Some major construction projects that Bennett was involved in during his time as Superintendent included the construction of the Grimshaw Public School, the modernization of Menno Simons Community School as well as the ongoing amalgamation of PRSD offices to the current Central Operations building in Grimshaw. Bennett has been instrumental in providing professional development for staff and last year, he initiated the coordination of a Masters Program available for PRSD leadership and aspiring leadership staff. Bennett will teach the “Educational Policy and Reform” course in the Masters Program this upcoming semester. Bennett also led and facilitated leadership training inside and outside of the division as a Fierce Conversations Facilitator.
“I’ve been fortunate to work amongst some of the most inspiring and dedicated students, staff, trustees, community members, and organizations during my time in the division” says Bennett. “I feel grateful for the learning, growth and collaboration with students, staff, families and the board of trustees – I share my accomplishments with the outstanding people that I have been gifted to be surrounded by and I extend my thanks to everyone for their support and dedication to education. I feel grateful to feel supported in my passion for education and trusted with opportunities to take the steps required to impact and inspire innovation and change in the best interest of students.”
PRSD will begin the process to recruit Bennett’s successor in the near future.
“On behalf of the board of trustees, I extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. Bennett for his service to students, staff, the board of trustees, and the communities we serve” says Kuester. “His dedication to PRSD and public education is second to none and this is clearly indicated in our consistently positive Accountability Pillar Results. We are very grateful for his innovative nature, leadership, and passion to provide students with the best educational opportunities possible. He will be surely missed and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”
For more information, please contact:
Vanessa Burns, Communications Coordinator 780-624-3601