This week is back to school for students around School District 8, which means familiar routines for those returning and for others new faces and new places. For Rod Giles, the new principal at Crawford Bay Elementary-Secondary, it means a return to the Kootenay Lake school district after his retirement in 2014.
Giles originally started in the district in 1997. Many students and families will recognize him as the long-time principal at Adam Robertson Elementary in Creston where he created a warm, engaging, inclusive and collaborative school community for 14 years. Giles also spent four years at Canyon Lister Elementary before retiring to travel across Canada and to New Zealand.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Giles completed his masters of education specializing in curriculum and instruction, earned his bachelor of education from the University of Victoria, diploma of physical education from University of Otago, New Zealand and a diploma of teaching from Christchurch Teachers College, New Zealand.
Giles also held a recent admin position in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. (225 kilometres north of Fort McMurray) this past year, a completely different experience from visiting his family’s kiwi orchard in New Zealand to arriving in Fort Chipewyan mid-winter, where it was -41 C.
“Rod has a passion for students, and is an engaging, relationship-building, caring and welcoming person,” the school district said in a news release. “As an individual who provided support for Crawford Bay’s school when the community experienced the tragic and unexpected loss of one of its teachers, Rod’s presence in the school will be a warm and welcoming start to the new school year.”
Derek Apple, vice-principal at CBESS, is currently on leave.