Pass through his doors and it’s readily obvious that Dr. Dean Lindquist is a hockey fan. His office contains a number of framed photographs of NHL stars and teams of days gone by, including Frank Mahovlich and Jean Beliveau. His coffee mug bears the insignia of the Montreal Canadiens — a true sign of a “diehard” Habs fan.
But the sporting interests of the new superintendent of the Comox Valley School District do not stop at hockey. He is also a loyal follower of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.
Lindquist and his wife Edith arrived here in the summer, so they’re still getting their feet wet. But he’s well aware of the challenges faced by SD71. For one thing, we need more money from the Province. But we also need to consider a question: Does the district have a revenue problem or an expenditure problem?
“We have to look at the whole story before we jump to a conclusion,” Lindquist said, recalling Alberta schools receiving significantly more funding per pupil. “But you live within your means, and that’s the challenge.”
Finances aside, Lindquist has been impressed by what he’s seen during visits to Comox Valley classrooms.
“I’m really excited to be here. The teachers I’ve seen and the principals are all leading the charge and developing amazing programs that have engaged students.
“It’s something you really have to be proud of…Programs that are setting students up for success for the rest of their lives.”
Lindquist did some schooling south of the border before embarking on a teaching career. He has a masters from San Diego State University and a doctor of education from the University of San Diego.
His first teaching gig was in Saskatchewan before switching to the Vermilion/Wainwright area of Alberta. He landed his first principalship in Paradise Valley, an Alberta village containing about 170 people.
“I’ve had a very enriching career. I’ve had a chance to be an elementary principal, a high school principal…I think I’m living in a crown jewel right now.”
This would be his second crown jewel. The first was in the Grande Yellowhead area of Alberta, where he was superintendent of public schools.
During their down time, Dean and Edith enjoy playing a round of golf together.
“Not well,” he says. “But we golf.”
Their idea of a perfect holiday?
“We’re hot climate people. Give us a nice, hot beach somewhere where you can sit down with a good book and just relax.”