This week's school board meeting for the Portage la Prairie School Division (PLPSD) marked the end of the Todd Cuddington era.

Cuddington, who had been Superintendent/CEO of the division for the past eight years, announced this past spring that he would be stepping away from the role to pursue a job opportunity in the Middle East.

file photoPortage la Prairie School Division board meeting on June 25, 2024.

While Cuddington still has a few days left in the role, Tuesday was his last school board meeting. He says it's been an incredible ride to have led the division.

"It's been a great honour to have worked with such wonderful people," continued Cuddington. "I genuinely want to thank our board for being such a progressive and supportive board and a great group of people to work with."

Pam Garnham will be stepping into the Superintendent role, and Rochelle Rands will be in the Assistant Superintendent position next year. Cuddington said both have been excellent colleagues and expects their transition to go smoothly.

"I couldn't have picked a better group to work with for these past eight years. It's been fantastic. It's my work family," smiled Cuddington.

file photoAssistant Superintendent Pam Garnham.

"You've made a mark not only in our division but in our community, and we thank you," stated the soon-to-be Superintendent, Pam Garnham.

During the final school board meeting of the year, board chair Marie Hélène Hoggarth pointed out that Cuddington and his leadership will be missed.

file photoMarie Hélène Hoggarth.

"Todd has helped us through so many challenging times over the past eight years, and I have personally learned a lot from him," said Hoggarth.

Cuddington told PortageOnline that he would have a lot of positive memories when he thinks back on his time in Portage.

"We have our challenges in our community and every day, our staff face them head-on and do a remarkable job. So, we're proud of them, and I'm proud of those relationships that I've been able to build."

Before taking the Superintendent role in Portage, Cuddington was in Taiwan and Kuwait for teaching positions. He will return to international education in Egypt with his wife in the next couple of months.

"I've always been fascinated by the Middle East. It's a great opportunity for me, and I have experience with residential boarding before, so it's a boarding school that I'm really interested in. It allows you to do things out of the traditional 8:30 to 4:00 model. The students live and learn on campus, so it allows us to approach education using the research we know about the teenage brain. The school day starts a little later. We can operate classes into the evening, or the work week can extend into the weekend." 

Cuddington said that the turnaround to get his life started in Egypt would be a quick one.

"I'm frantically trying to write those last emails and wrap up those last items."

Cuddington officially took the reigns as division Superintendent on October 16, 2016.