Cornerstone reacts to Casavant's departure
South East Cornerstone Public School Board chair Harold Laich says the division is going to miss director of education Dr. Marc Casavant.
Casavant submitted his resignation on February 11 after nearly five years as the division's top administrator. He'll become the new deputy director with the Prairie Valley School Division – a Regina-based division that has schools in the rural communities surrounding Regina, as well as in east-central Saskatchewan.
“As far as I know, it was due to personal interests, with a desire to move on to another part of his career,” said Laich. “He had some family things that he wanted to make plans for in the long-term.”
Casavant had indicated to the board that he might be looking for a job elsewhere, Laich said, but Casavant hadn't expressed a desire to leave.
“It was probably a surprise when we received his resignation … but we were not unaware of the fact that he was looking (elsewhere),” Laich said.
Numerous accomplishments have happened during Casavant's tenure, Laich said. The executive management, superintendents and the board worked a strategic plan for the division. It resulted in focus for the division, and created a blueprint for instruction improvements.
“The priorities were the early learning initiatives, the improvement of math scores and higher graduation rates,” said Laich. “He and the senior management team were also responsible for the response to intervention program which has been quite successful in our division for those students that require additional academic assistance.”
A response to intervention program earned the division a Premier's Board of Excellence Award in 2012.
The division has also undergone a change in culture during Casavant's tenure, Laich said. Morale is higher among teachers and support staff, and the work climate among employees is higher.
The Cornerstone board will discuss the search for Casavant's replacement during its meeting February 20.
Laich said the director of education job is a difficult position that requires a vision for the direction of the school division, a hands-on monitoring approach, and an ability to delegate to superintendents and senior administrative staff.
“Probably the real key for anybody coming in is the motivation of a vision in terms of where we want the school division to go in the next five years,” said Laich.
A director of education is also spending more time with the Ministry of Education, and that leaves less time to work with senior administrators, and less opportunity to provide support to senior management staff, Laich said.
Casvant's resignation takes effect on July 31.