Forest Grove Principal Mikel Brogan poses with students in front of the art mural they finished last year. Submitted photo.

Forest Grove Principal Mikel Brogan poses with students in front of the art mural they finished last year. Submitted photo.

Principal Mikel Brogan is leaving Forest Grove Elementary School

"All my time in the South Cariboo area has been amazing"

Mikel Brogan, Principal of the Forest Grove Elementary School, is moving on to a new job on the coast.

“Mikel has done an exceptional job in supporting the staff, students and community of Forest Grove,” says School District 27 Superintendent Mark Wintjes. “The staff and students really liked having Mikel as their principal. He will be missed tremendously and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours and hope that he stays in touch.”

It was a very difficult decision says Brogan.

Brogan has been at Forest Grove Elementary for a year and a half and was the vice principal at 100 Mile Elementary before that.

“I came up here almost seven years ago, right out of my Bachelor of Education. My parents had actually moved to Ashcroft and I wanted to be close to them.”

He met some people at a job fair from School District 27, who he says were fantastic. He kept in touch and started at Alexis Creek Elementary School right after he finished he says.

“I have absolutely loved it. All my time in the South Cariboo area has been amazing. Forest Grove is just an unbelievable community. The parental-community-student involvement is unparalleled.”

One example of that is being first in the province in recycling (in their category) last year which raised almost $14,000, says Brogan.

“That was a huge feat that could not be done if you didn’t have the type of student, parent and community involvement.”

He’s also quite proud of the two art projects he was involved with at both Forest Grove Elementary School and 100 Mile House Elementary School.

“Even last week I saw the students here at Forest Grove they’re all looking and finding their little bead in the art project.”

He’s also really happy with how successful the food projects are at the school.

“We now do breakfast every single day of the week for our students. We do school-wide hot lunch every second Wednesday. We all sit down together and then the creation of our school-wide community garden was a huge success this last year.”

It’s important for students to eat healthy food and having it right on site and have them grow it is great, he says.

Student numbers at Forest Grove Elementary increased substantially in recent years. Just in the last year student numbers went from 57 in September 2016 to 74 in September 2017, according to

Wintjes.

“That’s actually significant for a small rural school.”

Wintjes says he thinks that’s partially due to Brogan but also due to low housing prices attracting people.

Brogan says the process of leaving has been really hard on him.

“When you come into a school like this it becomes like a school family. There’s so much passion and care and involvement from everyone involved. To leave this school has been really hard, heavy on my heart to do so but I know there’s such a strong group of people here with the teachers, all of the support staff and the parents and this school will continue to grow.”

“When I started here a year and a half ago our population was in the forties and now we’re pushing eighty students. So to think of a school population almost doubling in a year and a half just shows to the success we’ve had as a school out here.”

A new principal has not yet been announced but the process is underway, says Brogan.

100 Mile House Free Press