After 34 years of contributions to education in Chilliwack, Janet Hall is retiring.
Hall currently is one of the school district’s assistant superintendents, but will be finishing that role over the summer. At the final school board meeting of the school year, trustees said their goodbyes and thanked her for her years of dedication to local students.
Board chair Dan Coulter said it was a “bittersweet” day, sending her off.
Hall began as a teacher at Cultus Lake elementary school at the age of 23, and eventually transitioned to the role of vice-principal at Vedder elementary school. She was the principal in charge of the planning stages of Evans elementary, right through to the opening of the doors there.
And it was at Bernard elementary where she gained “a deep understanding and passion to meet students where they are at,” Coulter said.
In her retirement letter, offered up recently to interim superintendent Rohan Arul-pragasam, she said shared the importance of being principal at that school.
“Those were the humbling years,” she wrote. “The years that reminded me that not everyone had the same blessings in life as I have had.”
Following Bernard, she went on to the principal role at Unsworth elementary, and then a Director of Instruction for the district, before taking on her current role. Hall is known to be a passionate educator who was instrumental in bringing together education partners and helping grow the aboriginal education department.
Trustee Jared Mumford thanked Hall for being approachable when he first became a trustee, while Trustee Heather Maahs commended her for always coming back to her with answers.
“I suspect we’ll be seeing you again,” Maahs said.
And she’s right. Hall said that it’s hard to leave something that has been an integral part of her life, and plans to come back and volunteer in schools.
“I will be reading to kids in somebody’s classroom,” if anyone is looking for her, she laughed.
But she also shed a few tears.
“I believe so deeply that public education is the key to success,” she said, adding that she has faith in her colleagues in the district. “It has been for me, a gift and a blessing to do what I’ve done.”
Earlier this week, the Chilliwack school district announced they have appointed Rosedale Traditional principal Paula Jordan to the role of assistant superintendent. The district has three assistant superintendent positions. The other two are held by Kirk Savage, and Rohan Arul-pragasam (currently filling in for superintendent Evelyn Novak, who is on leave).
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.