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New principals announced for three RVS schools

There will be some shuffling of principals within Rocky View Schools (RVS) next fall. 

On May 1, the public school division announced three leadership appointments for École Airdrie Middle School and Heloise Lorimer Middle School in Airdrie, as well as Manachaban Middle School in Cochrane. The principals will begin their new roles in August.

“On behalf of our board of trustees, I extend congratulations to Thomas Elbel, Brenda Valerio and Barb Holden on their new appointments,” said RVS board chair Fiona Gilbert, in a statement. “We look forward to their continued leadership in our jurisdiction.”

According to an RVS press release, Elbel will take over the role of principal at École Airdrie Middle School, after serving as the principal of Cochrane's Fireside School since 2017.

Elbel joined the ranks of RVS’ administrators in 2006, starting as assistant principal at George McDougall High School. He went to on lead Manachaban for seven years, before taking the reins of Fireside School. 

"An innovative leader known for his ability to build positive and lasting relationships, Elbel worked tirelessly over the last three years in collaboration with staff, students and their families to set the direction for Fireside School," the release stated.

Prior to his appointment at Fireside School, Elbel helped champion the implementation of Manachaban’s WILD program, according to the press release, as well as its Gay-Straight Alliance Club. A fluent speaker of French and German, Elbel also helped build capacity in RVS’ second language teachers over the years.

"As a divisional facilitator, he oversaw the implementation of the new French as a Second Language program of studies and designed targeted professional learning opportunities for teachers at all levels," the release stated.

Valerio, who has served as principal at Heloise Lorimer School since it opened in 2016, take over at Manachaban. According to RVS, Valerio joined the district in 2003 from the Calgary Catholic School District, where she served as an assistant principal, instructional design consultant and teacher.

In her role as divisional facilitator in curriculum and instruction for RVS, Valerio championed the introduction of mobile technologies and video conferencing in the jurisdiction.

"In her four years as principal of Heloise Lorimer, Valerio has been instrumental in establishing a culture that reflects the virtues of a Heloise Knight and focuses on literacy, numeracy and mental wellness," the release stated. "The epitome of a life-long learner, Valerio has immersed herself in countless professional learning opportunities and supported several jurisdictional working committees over the years, all with a goal of being better positioned to help build capacity in others."

Meanwhile, Holden will take the helm of Heloise Lorimer in the fall.

The principal of A.E. Bowers Elementary since 2014, Holden joined RVS in 2011. Prior to that, she lent her expertise to Parkland School Division as an assistant principal, special needs coordinator and early education teacher.

"Since joining RVS, Holden has built a reputation of being a compassionate leader with a unique ability to bring people together to collaboratively drive transformational change," the release stated. "With an eye on optimizing student learning and unafraid to challenge the status quo, Holden led Prairie Waters through the implementation of the Primary Years Program and RVS’ Communication of Student Learning."

Formal competitions for the principalships of A.E. Bowers Elementary and Fireside School will be announced at a later date.




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