The Saskatoon Board of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Shane Skjerven as the new director of education for Saskatoon Public Schools, beginning August 1, 2020. Skjerven is currently deputy director for the school division.
"For our board, students are at the heart of every decision we make. Shane is a leader who shares this commitment and has a proven record of putting students first," said Board Chair Colleen MacPherson. "Shane understands the complex needs of our students, the professional demands on our teachers and staff, and the delicate balance of our resources. He is, and always has been, a champion for students. The board looks forward to working with Shane to advance our goal of creating learning environments that inspire all students to reach their potential."
Skjerven began his teaching career in 1993 in Leoville, Sask., and he worked in Rabbit Lake and Melfort before joining Saskatoon Public Schools in 2001. He served as vice-principal at Roland Michener and École River Heights schools, principal at Princess Alexandra and École Lakeview schools, and was instrumental in the development of the community education action plan when he served as community education principal. He spent four years as a superintendent of education before becoming deputy director in 2015.
As deputy director, Skjerven led the nearly two-year process to develop the board's new strategic plan, which focuses the school division's collective work to ensure every student is known, valued, and believed in. He helped develop and implement a renewed literacy initiative focused on improving reading achievement for all students. He has demonstrated strong leadership through his collaboration with staff members, detailed knowledge of division operations, and commitment to improving student outcomes. Guided by his strong belief in community education, Skjerven has worked to foster community partnerships and strengthen cultural responsiveness in the division.
"I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead Saskatoon Public Schools, a division I have been proud to be a part of for 19 years," said Skjerven. "All of our students deserve equitable opportunities in order to succeed. I believe our focus on academic excellence, character, engagement, and well-being will prepare all our students to thrive in the future. I am excited to continue working with this team of dedicated educators and support staff toward realizing this commitment to our students."
Skjerven takes over the role from Barry MacDougall, who will retire on July 31, 2020. MacDougall will have worked for Saskatoon Public Schools for nearly 32 years, five of which were spent as director of education.