Dr. Terry Sullivan’s leadership will be missed in school district

FRIDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — Terry Sullivan would probably have liked the timing of his retirement as superintendent of schools for the Kamloops-Thompson School District to be a little different.

After 40 years in education, 15 of them in Kamloops, Thursday was his last official day on the job. Not that he retired too soon, or too late. It’s just that he leaves some unfinished business not of his doing.

SD73B.C. teachers and the government continue their standoff, and while there’s vague talk of renewing negotiations, there’s no certainty that school will start on time in September. There’s little question Sullivan would have liked to see the situation resolved by now.

Throughout the dispute, Sullivan has been the picture of calm leadership. He’s an analytical but decisive leader, and during the teachers’ strike nothing about that changed. He’s not a sky-is-falling kind of guy. He and his administration jumped in and did what needed to be done to keep things running as well as they could, and made the tough decisions as needed. He kept the board of trustees informed, and communicated on a regular basis with parents to provide them with updates.

It’s the same kind of leadership he showed during the Stuart Wood elementary issue. His position was consistent — the school is outdated and should be closed. That was not a popular stand to take with downtown residents. Indeed, from this corner it’s not even the right one.

But, he took it based on educational considerations, and gently but steadfastly pushed the board for a decision, and got one.

Kamloops has had a lot of good school superintendents over the years. Some have been dynamic, some had short fuses, some were team players, some not so much. All had their strengths. Sullivan has been one of the best.

About Mel Rothenburger (7231 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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