District names new boss

The New Westminster school district has a new top administrator, although it's uncertain if it's a permanent appointment or not.

On Friday, the board of education named John Gaiptman as the district's CEO and superintendent of schools. He'll start Feb. 17, three days after he retires from the same positions with the Greater Victoria School District.

While board chair Jonina Campbell would not label Gaiptman's appointment as interim, the board will continue to have an executive search company specializing in education continue to scope out superintendent of schools candidates.

"He will remain with us as long as the board requires his leadership," said Campbell.

Gaiptman worked his way up the ranks from teacher to principal to assistant superintendent before becoming Greater Victoria superintendent in 2002. He added the CEO title in May 2012 when he took over the duties of the district's retiring secretary-treasurer.

She would not comment on whether Gaiptman has been hired as a salaried employee to replace John Woudzia who departed Jan. 31 to accept a position at Vancouver Community College, or if he is under a consultant contract.

"We are delighted that someone of Mr. Gaiptman's quality will be leading our school district," said Campbell in a press release. "We are facing numerous challenges however, our board of education is confident Mr. Gaiptman can provide the leadership necessary to cope with the financial barriers while providing the leadership required for the development of the plans and approval of the project to replace New Westminster Secondary School."

Campbell said the decision was unanimous in its decision.

"This is a great thing for our district and our board is behind it," she said. "Mr. Gaiptman has clearly established himself as an education leader in our province and we are excited to be working with him."

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