News release

Southwest Pilot Projects Appointments

An innovative education pilot project in the southwest region is going forward following proclamation this week of amendments to the Education Act.

The former Southwest Regional School Board will be divided into two district boards, with a chief executive officer to oversee the project. Legislation enabling the project was officially proclaimed Tuesday. It allows elected school board members to focus on educational issues facing students and parents, while the new CEO will administer facilities, transportation and human resources.

"The pilot project will help school board members focus on the things that make a difference for students in each of the two new districts," Education Minister Jane Purves said. "It will also help us find ways to move every possible dollar from administration to the classroom."

Ms. Purves has appointed three well-regarded educators from the southwest region to lead the pilot project.

The chief executive officer is Leroy Legere who moves from his position as one of the two directors of schools for the Southwest Region School Board. He is a former cabinet minister, but has more than 30 years experience as an educator. Mr. Legere will supervise and allocate budgets for the district boards and take care of administrative services such as facilities and busing.

The two district school boards each have a new director of education responsible for the delivery of education programs.

Phillip Landry, moves from regional education officer with the Department of Education to director of education for the Tri- County District School Board encompassing Shelburne, Digby, and Yarmouth counties.

Hebbville School principal Steven Simpson, who has been principal at a number of southwest area schools, moves to director of education for the South Shore District School Board, which includes Queens and Lunenburg counties.

All appointments are for three years.

Discussions are ongoing with former Southwest board superintendent Ann Jones with respect to a future role in the province's education system.

"These people have an intimate knowledge of the education system in southwest Nova Scotia," Ms. Purves said. "I am confident they will be able to deliver the programs that students and communities need, while making sure the school board is accountable for spending and results."

The Government of Nova Scotia launched the pilot project in response to the report of the Task Force on School Board Boundaries, which recommended a new governance model for the Southwest regional board.

Total funding for the southwest school system will be consistent with funding for the existing Southwest Regional School Board. Administrative costs will not increase and any savings will be directed back into classroom programs. School board offices will remain in Yarmouth and Bridgewater.

Elected school board members will continue to represent each of the two districts. The current elected members of the board will sit on the two district boards until school board elections in the fall.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

An innovative education pilot project is going ahead in southwest Nova Scotia.

Three well-regarded educators from the area will lead the project which divides the former Southwest Regional School Board into two district boards.

Leroy Legere is the chief executive officer of both with overall responsibility for administrative services such as facilities, busing and human resources.

The two new district boards will each have a director of education.

Hebbville School principal Steven Simpson heads the new South Shore District Board.

Phillip Landry, until now a regional education officer with the education department, leads the Tri-County District Board.

All appointments are for three years.

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Contact:

David Harrigan
Department of Education 902-424-3757 E-Mail:

NOTE TO EDITORS: Biographies are available for Leroy Legere, Phillip Landry, and Steven Simpson; please e-mail release@gov.ns.ca for a copy.

amc                      June 29, 2000    2:41 p.m.