The Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS) has its new principal for the 2020-21 school year.
Nathan Johnson, who is currently the vice-principal, has been hired for the job. He replaces Pat Jeannot, who will be retiring at the end of the current school year. Jeannot has been the principal at the school since 2013.
“I’m very excited. I had a little bit of time for it to sink in, it’s been a couple of weeks since the hiring was made and I’m very excited about going into the future at the same school I’ve been at my whole career,” said Johnson.
Johnson has been a vice-principal for seven years and a part of the staff at the Comp. for 15 years.
“I’ve been on the leadership team for the last seven years and it felt like a good fit. And the position became available, that I’d like to try into that role. I was very interested in staying at the same building that I have been at and I’m glad that I’ve been given that opportunity.”
Johnson believes that knowing the background and having long-term experience in this particular school will help to make the transition into the new position and his future work smooth.
“We’ve got great students and staff and wonderful families to work with. It’s a great job,” said Johnson. “Knowing students, staff and families, it’s very helpful instead of coming in the situation where I don’t know any of that.”
Talking about future development, he pointed out that he plans to continue growing on the collaboration that already exists at the Comp.
“We are continuing to try to engage as many learners as we can. What we are trying to do is work together as a staff and we’ll be very collaborative going forward as we have been. I’m just excited for the opportunity that I can continue some of the work that we’ve already started,” said Johnson.
He has also taken an active role in the school and in the community. Until recently Johnson was a boys’ volleyball team coach at the ECS. But this year he took a step back and Kevin Perkins took more of a leadership role, while Johnson was also involved coaching his own kids’ hockey teams, which took quite a bit of time as well.
“As of right now we haven’t made any decisions as to how that will go,” said Johnson. “I think Kevin will maintain the leadership role with the volleyball team next year.”
He also said that the upcoming changes to the ECS, including the potential conversion and renovation that would make it a Grade 7-12 school, are something he is looking forward to.
“I think that would be very exciting if that went forward. We are a ways away from that I think. But if we ever have gone to that point, I think it should be a very exciting time for the community to have the expansion of the ECS and possibilities with the elementary schools. I would see it more as exciting times than challenging times,” said Johnson.
And while students are off school now, the entire staff team has been really busy lately planning, adapting to the new situation and trying to make sure that they can still meet the needs of all their learners, even though they have some challenging times ahead.
In the interview with the Mercury last Friday, Johnson noted that while the mood in the school was “uneasy” and everybody was unsure about how things will work out, he hoped that in the next couple of weeks the new reality would become clearer and people would feel better about the situation.
Johnson will continue his role as a vice-principal until the end of the school year and will take over the principal’s role in August.