Earlier this week, I shared the sad news of a substantial change to the leadership structure in Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) in response to the government's requirement that all school divisions reduce core management by 15 per cent.
As part of our commitment to openness and transparency in LRSD, you'll find information in this message about the two individuals who were impacted by the government directive.
You'll also learn about my genuine sadness about the human cost to these two colleagues who have been instrumental in our collective effort to see our students excel as caring, confident, capable and resilient life-long learners.
Back in January, which feels like years ago, school divisions in the province of Manitoba were advised by the government to cut core management by 15 per cent.
The government said this reduction was in line with what other departments were asked to do as part of an effort to tackle a "top-heavy public sector."
While I can't comment on the management structure in other organizations, I know ours intimately and the impact such an edict would have on the small but mighty group of individuals in the board office I am honoured to call colleagues and friends.
While the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic gave us a little more time for conversations and contemplation, an enormously difficult decision had to be made.
It has been, by far, one of the most challenging and agonizing announcements I've had to make when I shared the news about Irene Nordheim, Assistant Superintendent, and Amarbeer Bhandari, Project Manager, being the two individuals affected by the government's staff reduction order.
While we continue to discuss how to redistribute their substantial responsibilities amongst our reduced senior leadership team, the impact of this reduction extends beyond our organizational chart as there is a significant human cost as well. The elimination of these roles means two professionals who are thoroughly committed to seeing our learners thrive, and communities flourish can no longer do the jobs they love.
The removal of these positions and the support they provided is a considerable loss to everyone in LRSD, but that will not deter us from finding away and a time to honour their contributions.
That said, I'd be remiss in not taking a moment to acknowledge Irene Nordheim for the more than four decades of countless contributions she has made towards fostering education, well-being and care in our community.
I look forward to expanding on both of these exceptional leaders' achievements very soon.