Superintendent search, new SKSS focus for board in 2014

A search for a new school district superintendent and saving $1 million on a tight budget are the tasks Kamloops-Thompson school trustees have on their schedule for 2014.

"The process of hiring a new superintendent will certainly occupy us," said chairwoman Denise Harper. "It's the single most important task of the board."

Supt. Terry Sullivan announced late last year he would retire July 31 after 15 years as the head of the Kamloops-Thompson School District.

The search for a replacement is expected to begin any day now, with a new superintendent announced March 13 or 14. Whoever that is takes over Aug. 1.

Vice chairwoman Kathleen Karpuk said there's a lot riding on Sullivan's replacement, as a superintendent sets the tone for the entire district.

"It's probably one of the most important things we're going to have to deal with this year," said Karpuk, adding the task will dominate the first half of 2014.

The 2014-2015 school budget is also a big item. Karpuk said the document looks as tight as the previous $125.5-million budget. Despite little room to cut, $1 million must be saved.

She said staff anticipate further cuts in the years ahead to compensate for future hydro rate increases.

"That's going to be an ongoing thing for the next little bit," said Karpuk.

Last Month, Karpuk told The Daily News the hydro increase could result in school closures and students paying to ride the bus.

Harper and Karpuk say trustees will also make a case for a new South Kamloops secondary school, as the old building is past its prime.

A new school was recently built in Vernon, so Harper believes one is possible here, she said.

Improving students' grades in math and opening the NorKam Trades Centre of Excellence this fall are also a priority.

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