Two coming on board at School District 71

Two new members have joined the School District 71 senior management team.

Two new members have joined the School District 71 senior management team.

Russell Horswill takes over as secretary-treasurer and Ian Heselgrave is the new director of operations.

Horswill, the chief financial officer in Grande Prairie, Alta., has previously served as secretary-treasurer in B.C. and Alberta school districts. He replaces Len Ibbs.

For the past eight-plus years Heselgrave has been operations manager at the Comox Valley Airport. He begins his new job in January.

It’s with a “heavy heart” that Heselgrave leaves the airport.

“It was a really difficult decision, but these opportunities don’t come up all that often in the Valley,” he said. “I think I was ready for a change and some new challenges. I’m excited about what’s coming but sad to leave. I have a great ops team here. I’m going to miss them all.”

During his time at the airport Heselgrave notes the period of transition from the old facility that was “plunked in the middle of the base” to the new terminal that was  actively supported by the community.

“WestJet service had really just started,” he said. “When I got there it wasn’t even every day of the week.”

The transition to his new position should be relatively seamless considering operations are “fairly consistent” in terms of ensuring safe and efficient facilities that meet the needs.

“The needs will change a bit because of the users,” Heselgrave said. “The school district is all about the kids and making sure they have proper schools that meet all sorts of changing demands. There’s a lot more technology demand in the schools and transitioning to 21st century learning.”