Pamela Garnham is the new Superintendent of the Portage la Prairie School Division come July. She says it is a professional achievement for her, and one of the goals for which she sought many years ago. 

"I have over 32 years of experience in education from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and I am very happy that I was selected and that the board had their faith in me to lead our division. It is historic that we have two women leading our division and our division is progressive. We have many, many qualified female administrators in our division and many female teacher leaders in our division. So, it'll bring a diverse perspective shaped by years of experience, and I think it's good. It'll be a good role model for young women, but it's an opportunity for all of us to shine." 

She explains she and current Superintendent Todd Cuddington have worked together for the past eight years, noting he's been a phenomenal role model in the Superintendent's department. 

"We have worked closely together along with Rochelle Rands (new Assistant Superintendent). So, we're hoping that the transition will be smooth and we believe it will be. We'll just follow Todd's lead as he leaves, and continue with the direction that he was leading us in. Rochelle and I are both looking forward to the challenge." 

Garnham says their vision in our division is to create a student-centred learning environment that fosters academic excellence, innovation, and quality for all of their students. 

"We'd like to see that continue, obviously, and include implementing evidence-based practices, cultivating the culture of continuous improvement in priorities, and the needs of our diverse student population. Our students are being exposed to a world now where there's constant change and we have to develop them, so that they are able to adapt and shift on these changes."

In regards to Portage seeing an influx of newcomers,  she explains she's lived here practically all her life, and the French Immersion School conversion at Crescentview, putting it back to K to 8, with the conversion of Fort la Reine School next year to Kindergarten to Grade 8 are addressing that. 

"The idea that we're doing with catchment area changes is that we're just hoping that will help alleviate the pressures that our schools have. We're leaning to the department for support in areas to help expand some of our schools and, hopefully, on our five-year capital plan, the government will address some of our concerns, and we'll continue to press for what what we need in our school division for it to grow and be successful." 

Garnham is currently the Assistant Superintendent until Todd Cuddington has fulfilled his time in her new role.