Beachcombers Academy grounds: students watch the oyster fishers and listen to the Sea Lions. An optional school bus service transports students from Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland and Buckley Bay/Denman Island.

New principal at Beachcombers Academy in Fanny Bay

Beachcombers Academy has welcomed new principal Roy Sakata who brings 40 years’ experience in education as a teacher and principal. He also served five years with the BC Ministry of Education inspection teams, which is how he first came to learn of Beachcombers.

Roy Sakata is the new principal at Beachcombers Academy. Photo supplied.

Beachcombers Academy is now in its 10th year of operation. Sakata was part of the inspection team that gave Beachcombers its first inspection the year it started. At that time, the school was temporarily operating out of the Fanny Bay Hall while renovations were being completed on the new school. Staff would set up and take down the classrooms each day to allow for evening programming at the hall.

“I was so impressed with the dedication and passion of these educators and the engagement of students,”said Sakata. “The founding staff had a wonderful vision for the school with its ocean view location lends itself to the school’s unique Coastal Studies program.”

Renovations on the facility were completed later that year and Beachcombers has enjoyed this beautiful location ever since.

Sakata went to primary school on Quadra Island and attended high school in Campbell River and Courtenay. Following completion of his masters of arts in educational administration from Simon Fraser University, he worked in rural schools in Northern B.C., in larger schools in Richmond, and for First Nations schools. He has received BC Minster of Education recognition for school administrative excellence.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Mr. Sakata as principal of Beachcombers Academy,” said Zoe Lambert, president of Beachcombers Education Society. “Roy is so warm and gentle with students and he has a thoughtful and progressive approach to teaching. He has a depth of experience and an exceptionally positive approach. It is a real pleasure to work with him.”

Sakata replaces founding principal Wendy Preston. After dedicating nine years to Beachcombers, Preston stepped down to pursue a change of direction in her career.

“We thank Wendy for her many years of service to Beachcombers,” said Lambert.

Beachcombers Academy offers preschool to Grade 7 and is operated by Beachcombers Education Society, a registered non-profit. Information about the school can be found on its website,

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