Both the Rainy River District School Board and the Northwest Catholic District School Board are headed by new directors this week as Warren Hoshizaki and Carol-Lynne Oldale take over those roles respectively.
Oldale was with the Thunder Bay Catholic School Board for 29 years, serving first as vice-principal and principal in several schools and more recently as superintendent of the board.
The board there had 13 schools under its jurisdiction.
“[My experience] has given me a basic understanding of how the board works,” she noted Monday. “On a smaller board, such as this one, it’s more of a ‘hands on’ experience.
“My experience as a superintendent has gotten me used to that,” she added.
Oldale also said the board members, whom she met last month, are very nice and work well together—traits she also has seen in the community as a whole.
“Just moving into Fort Frances, I’ve noticed the people are terrific,” she remarked.
As far as the year ahead, the issues at hand remain those of the amalgamation process which began last year.
“We’re still working on collective agreements for the non-teaching staff,” Oldale noted. “Also, working within the board as a group, ironing out individual functions, is something we still have to finalize.”
Over at the public school board, Hoshizaki brings 23 years of experience with him in his new position as director. Originally teaching in the Dryden area for almost 10 years, he began as a math teacher and worked his way up to principal.
Since then, he has taught for six years in Ignace and three in Sioux Lookout. He also spent about his last five years with the Bluewater District School Board in Port Elgin-Owen Sound, alternately as superintendent of curriculum, planning, and secondary education.
Hoshizaki said the local school board’s highest priority this year was getting the “multi-use” facility up and running at Westfort here.
“I visited the site and it was quite impressive,” he said. “I was involved in that type of project while building a theater in Owen Sound.”
Hoshizaki hopes the building will be completed by the end of June “so [he] can involve the staff and students in the move.”
Other priorities include clearing up amalgamation problems and doing long-range planning, the latter of which Hoshizaki thinks this board will excel at.
“There’s been a positive reaction from the board in making the district a strong area,” he noted.
He also stressed teamwork was essential to having a strong foundation for education. “If we believe in working together, then we should make decisions together,” he remarked.
And speaking of teamwork, Hoshizaki said the first time he met educators from Fort Frances was when he coached high school hockey in Port Elgin the past four years.
“I was coaching the Sawgee Royals and we made it to the all-Ontarios for two of those four years,” he enthused. “That’s where I first met the Fort Frances Muskies.”