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Friday, 09 September 2011 10:01

Spencer retires; new communicator hired for CSD

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Education has always been important for Dave Spencer.

That’s why he loved to teach students — including Premier Brad Wall — social studies before moving up in the ranks to become a school administrator, a central office administrator and eventually the Chinook School Division’s communications co-ordinator.

After 38 years of being in the education system, Spencer has decided it’s time to retire, although it was not a decision he reached easily.

“I’m not one who makes these kind of decisions easily because I have a strong commitment to education,” said Spencer, who is leaving his post Sept. 30 to pursue more volunteer positions in the community and enjoy having more flexibility in his life.

“I’ve enjoyed being around kids and teachers and administrators, parents, board members and each chance that I had to interact with any of those I gained from that experience. It’s something that I’ll take with me, but it’s also something I’ll miss.”

Being as dedicated to education as he is, Spencer is spending his last month of work at the school division by making sure it’s in good hands by training his replacement Joanne Booth.

Booth has a lot of experience in public relations, having worked in a similar position at Great Plains College and as an independent contractor for Wide Mouth Media. She knows there is a lot for her to learn to be as knowledgeable as Spencer in her new position.

In addition to Spencer’s experience in education, Booth needs to make sure she’s up to date on the division’s plans and goals, such as the new balanced math program and the proposed new school on the northeast edge of Swift Current, in addition to division and board policies.

“To be honest, it is a hard act to follow,” said the mother of two children. “Dave has a lot of years of experience and skills and talent that are hard to match. There are big shows to fill here.

“There is a lot of activity and upcoming growth in the division, which is exciting. It helped that I was on contract with Chinook for the past year and working with Dave and I’m aware of a lot of initiatives as well as some of the history. That has helped a lot. I’m not as concerned about that stuff overwhelming me. I have some knowledge and experience in some of those areas.”

While Spencer is moving on to enrich his and other people’s lives through volunteer work and spending more time with his family, Booth will try to continue enriching the lives of students and keeping the lines of communication between the division and the public as open as possible.

She’s also looking forward to working with a large number of people again.

“This job is more similar to how it was at the college where there are lots of employees and more people to get to know and some social aspects there as well lots to learn in the job and to grow and develop professionally,” she said. “I’m looking forward to that, getting to know new people and developing myself professionally.”

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