The Board of Education, for School District #59 (PRS) will be marking February 1st as the last day of our partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology. The partnership has launched hundreds of SD #59 students into new opportunities and new careers throughout 13 years of BCIT providing services.
The Board expresses their deepest appreciation to BCIT for the vision and commitment they have shown during the past 13 years. Some of that commitment is evident when we look back on the development of the partnership and programs:
1992: BCIT Auto Service begins in SPSS, Gary Remenyk is instructor.;
2001: Ellis Lee joins to teach Auto Service, Gary becomes Chief Instructor, the first BCIT/SD #59 shop is constructed behind the high school, the Auto Collision and Refinishing program begins in the new building and Randy Flynn joins the staff as instructor, busing begins between Chetwynd and Dawson Creek to allow more students to attend programs.;
BCIT 4th Class Power Engineering begins at Chetwynd Secondary, and Jon Carlson agrees to instruct the program, second year of BCIT Auto Service Technology is introduced. Rene Tremblay is hired to the instructor pool.;
The second BCIT/SD #59 shop is constructed to house the Heavy Duty-Commercial Transport program.;
HD-CT starts operating. Rene Tremblay moves over as that instructor, and Rick Hall moves into the Auto Service instructor pool.
When BCIT was operating all of these dual-credit options, 60-70 students per year were enrolled in their programs.
There are many stories throughout the school district about how much the instructional staff, and the credits earned, have improved the life chances of our students. Over and over again stories have emerged about students who stayed in school, graduated, and carried on to begin successful careers, because of the caring work of the BCIT staff. The Board of Education has no adequate words of appreciation for the manner in which the BCIT instructors dedicated themselves to their work, and have always extended themselves to ensure the success of every student.
A true corporate partner to the end, BCIT will be leaving the region, donating their 50% interest in the two shop facilities, along with the necessary tools and equipment, for the ongoing training of students.
This does not become a bad news story however. While SD #59 is losing an educational partner in BCIT, we are strengthening and expanding our partnership with Northern Lights College. Beginning February 4, 2008, NLC will be operating the programs that BCIT leaves behind. Auto Service and Heavy Duty will continue to run in the existing shops, with a simple change of names on the building.
The Board of Education for SD #59 extends our sincerest appreciation to the two institutions.
Thanks BCIT for 13 years of great work!
Thanks NLC for stepping up to take over, and continue the tradition of success for our students!