This school year will be Janet Meyer’s last as superintendent of Coast Mountains School District 82, with the longtime educator set to retire Aug. 31, 2o22.
“The Board of Education would like to sincerely thank Janet for her dedication to public education through her exceptional years of service for our learners, our school district and the larger educational community,” stated a Nov. 25 School District 82 media release signed by Margaret Warcup, board chair.
Meyer’s long career in public education includes time working as a teacher, principal, director of instruction and director of human resources at School District 82 over the span of 34 years.
Meyer became acting superintendent in 2019, replacing Katherine McIntosh after the controversial decision to reassign three school administrators which prompted a walk out protest by students at Skeena Middle School, a 99 per cent vote of non-confidence by district teachers and appeals to intervene made to the education ministry by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres and the Kermode Friendship Society.
That leadership shuffle was reversed, and Meyer said at the time she recognized the need to rebuild trust and relationships between the school district and the community while moving forward on initiatives focussed on student learning.
Then, less than a year after assuming the interim role, Meyer shepherded the School District through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic which shuttered schools and forced instruction online.
Meyer was permanently appointed to the position in June 2020 and oversaw the school district while it prepared to welcome students back to brick and mortar classrooms. That included virtual Q&A sessions in conjunction with Northern Health and creating a safe return to school plan.
Meyer, along with other local leadership, successfully lobbied the federal government for a border exemption so that students from Hyder, Alaska could attend school in Stewart.
In 2021, Meyer made the decision to lower the flags at schools and offices to half-mast for 215 hours in recognition of unmarked graves discovered at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops.
“A well-respected leader in education, Janet is always guided by her commitment for the success of all learners. Her dedication to public education and her ability to lead change has guided significant growth in Coast Mountains School District,” the release stated.
The school district will begin looking for its next superintendent in early 2022.