GHSD new superintendent looking forward to first year in the chair

Jeff Grimsdale is preparing to begin his first year as superintendent of schools for the Golden Hills School Division, having taken over for Bevan Daverne, who retired in June.

Serving with the Golden Hills School Division for 27 years thus far already, nine years of that being in the central office, Grimsdale is already a familiar face within the team.

He explained though he is aware of the large shoes to fill in Daverne’s absence, he is confident in the division’s administrative team to be able to continue providing a high standard of education.

“We have a great working team of administrators and the central office team. I feel very comfortable with our group of leaders, teachers, and our central office,” said Grimsdale. “Bevan was a superintendent of the year, so he has been a great support and he is still around … but I have been able to work side-by- side with him for a number of years and that obviously provides a sense of comfort to have him still be available to provide some mentorship.”

Previously, Grimsdale served as associate superintendent before taking over from Daverne, and this year will be his first ever as a Superintendent of Schools throughout his career.

He emphasized his intention to continue the Golden Hills School Division’s Powerful Learning program and strategies from having been implemented in previous years.

“We have been working on things for a number of years. Powerful Learning is our model here, and our goal is success for all students, and we want to see improvement in student achievement and wellbeing,” said Grimsdale. “Those are our main areas that we look at, but we are also really excited about the programming options that we have for our students … we have Christian programming at Trinity, we have got the Leader in Me at Wheatland School, we have French immersion at Brentwood, and we have a hockey program at Westmount, just to name a few.”

For parents and students just coming into the Golden Hills School Division, the idea is to be able to pick and choose schools with the unique programming they can be most excited about.

Come the start of the school year, Sept. 5, Grimsdale was going between schools reintroducing himself and meeting with teachers and administrative staff to gauge how the first day went, as well as to converse with those most involved with the students.

Though some Golden Hills School Division facilities staggered their Kindergarten starts, for the majority of students, regular classes resumed Sept. 5.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times