Big changes took place last week in the Portage School Division, and board chair Marie Hélène Hoggarth weighs in. She says the board's extremely thankful that Pamela Garnham and Rochelle Rands were able to step up and accept the superintendency and assistant superintendency. Hoggarth adds they'll miss former Superintendent Todd Cuddington, after he fulfils his position.

"We hate to see him go, but you can't stop a person from going on to greener and better pastures, can you? Pam is very qualified to take over, and so is Rochelle. They will provide continuity to the board so that the student lives aren't disrupted. We put the students first, and our staff. With Pam and Rochelle being so good at what they do, the transitional period should be very smooth and that's what we were hoping for."

Hoggarth notes there will be a continuity with the two women already capable at working with the division. She explains Rands will take on the role of Assistant Superintendent, but she will still help oversee the Student Services. 

"The Student Services plays a big important role in our system and we have so many children that have the needs that she can ensure that the provision is still there for them. And we have the utmost faith in the two ladies, otherwise they wouldn't be there. They deserve it. They've earned it. I have no doubt in my mind that the transitional period will go smoothly, just as though there were no ripples in the water."

She says the women know the community quite well, and live here, ensuring the needs will be handled. 

"They are aware of all the ups and downs of the whole process. They are very familiar with our school system and how our schools run. The less disruption we can have, the better it is. So, we feel that we're very fortunate that they are willing to pick up. It's hard for somebody coming into a new community and having to reestablish their roots sort of thing, whereas this is already headed for a smooth transition."