Emmerson moving on to director of education role in Sun West

Superintendent Randy Emmerson, back left, participated in a traditional feast and drum event at Won Ska School last year. He is the next director of education for the Sun West School Division./Daily Herald File Photo

After spending most of his career in the Prince Albert area, Superintendent Randy Emmerson is taking the next step in his career.

Emmerson will be the next director of education for the Sun West School Division in West Central Saskatchewan. Emmerson thanked director of education Robert Bratvold for his guidance.

“I think for my career I have the opportunity to be the director and the incredible mentorship and the incredible relationship and the opportunity to work with Robert Bratvold who is just an amazing person,” Emmerson said.

“When I have seen what he has done and seen the approach that he has, having the opportunity to perhaps do that in a school division that is very progressive, very innovative it was an opportunity I felt that I needed to explore and as I got deeper into the process I am really excited by the opportunity to lead and to lead that division in particular.”

Bratvold also had kind words for Emmerson as he prepares to leave.

“It’s sad news for our division and our senior leadership team to lose someone of Randy’s calibre,” Bratvold said.

“It is also exciting we have got one of our team members that has got the qualifications and ability and capacity to lead the school division in the director of education role and that’s an exciting thing for him to be able to accomplish. We will miss him in the division absolutely but we are excited for him to take that next step in his career goals.”

“The other thing for me personally I know that he will be part of the Directors of Education group that gathers regularly across the province so I will still be able to maintain good connections with Randy as he pursues his new role,” he added.

“Randy brings many of years of experience to Sun West as a teacher, a school administrator and as a Superintendent, Sun West board chair Karen Itterman said in a media release.

“He has a strong background in distance learning, which is very important in Sun West. We are very happy to have Randy join our school division as we continue our learning journey.”

Emmerson will replace retiring director Guy Tétrault and his last day with the division will be July 31. He will begin his duties with Sun West August 1.

Emmerson heard a few years ago that Tetrault may have been retiring, but the circumstances weren’t right.

At the annual policy convention for senior school administrators in March, he found out that the position was still not filled. The family was driving to Medicine Hat to watch daughter Mackenzie play basketball in the Alberta colleges playoffs a few weeks later. The road trip went through Rosetown and he mentioned that it was the base of Sun West. His family asked if the position was filled and he confirmed it wasn’t and the family asked if he applied.

Later in the weekend he and his wife Angie had a talk about the position and she offered her full support. Then COVID-19 led to the suspension of classes and changed the energy and focus in senior administration.

“I reached out and just said ‘hey, the situation we are in doesn’t let me fully invest right now, but I want you to know I have some interest,’ and that started the process. They have a three-step process and the final step was on Monday, April 27 when I went down for a properly distanced opportunity to meet with the board and make a presentation. Their decision came last week,” Emmerson said.

“The professional situation, the personal situation just the circumstance or coincidence that it even came up in conversation at that point in time. Things aligned and they have aligned for me very well throughout my career and this is another opportunity for me to that benefit,” he added.

Despite the job being located in Rosetown, he will still call Prince Albert home. He has been very active in community projects in Prince Albert where he coached basketball, volleyball, football, soccer and the Special Olympics.

“I have been so fortunate to work with amazing people with things like the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse and Friday Night Lights bringing lights to the Prime Ministers Park,” Emmerson said.

“Those have given me opportunities to work with and learn from community-minded people that gave for many decades. I have really had opportunity to be involved so it is a pleasure. And it is why Prince Albert is home, it’s why the job is going to take me away but we are keeping Prince Albert as home.”

Angie works at SaskPolytech in Practical Nursing. With family still here, Prince Albert will continue to be home for Emmerson.

He has been a Superintendent with Saskatchewan Rivers since 2014 and was Principal of Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI) from 2004 to 2013. His current responsibilities in Saskatchewan Rivers include curriculum, assessment, educational technology, staff development, athletics and libraries as well as supervisory responsibility for 10 schools including PACI.

Emmerson moved to Prince Albert in 1978 when he was in Grade 9 and went to school in the city.

He started his teaching career teaching Social Studies and English Language Arts in Unity before returning to Prince Albert and has lived in the community for 35 years.

“It is quite a long association, a relationship with the school division right from the time our oldest started Kindergarten at Arthur Pechey until our youngest graduated two years ago from Carlton. We have had kids in school for approaching 20 years. It has been a long time and we have had many great teachers, I mean great is too trivial of a word, we have had absolutely amazing connection with the school in that sense as well,” Emmerson said.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Educational Studies from Flinders University of South Australia. He has been married to his wife for 31 years and has three daughters.

Emmerson explained how he couldn’t thank the community enough for his personal development and support along his journey.

“As much as I am anticipating what I am heading to work for the roots are here and my appreciation for Prince Albert it has always been high, we have got a great community, we have got a spirit here that’s second to none and we do look forward to continue to be a part of that as this next phase of my career unfolds,” he said.