Aug 24
Principal Announcement

Dear students, parents, guardians, staff and Robert Thirsk High School community,

I am writing to provide an update regarding school opening for the 2021–2022 school year. Each school start up is unique and brings its own excitement, new experiences, changes – such as new staff members, and three new communities of grade ten students. This year will bring unforeseen changes and new experiences for me, on a personal and professional level.

I will not be returning as the principal of Robert Thirsk High School. The reasons are simple and due entirely to severe physical complications and mobility limitations of my Type 1 Diabetes, which has been a hereto four decades long invisible disability. I simply cannot fulfill the physical requirements of the role of a school-based administrator and thus, will be going on a medical leave. Effective August 25, 2021.   

While I am saddened to leave Thirsk, the most wonderful, vibrant and amazing high school, I know the plans for the transition to another principal will be extremely supportive of the growth and successes of students, staff, and the entire Thirsk community. I am also very aware that my work at Thirsk is heavily intertwined with, and dependent upon, each and all of you. All successes achieved at Robert Thirsk High School since January 2016 provide ample evidence.

The transition plan will include the following details and steps:

  • Kristal Derbyshire will continue as an Assistant Principal, providing excellent leadership, expertise and continuity in learning, staffing, school operations, and relationships.
  • Brad Murray will join us as a new Assistant Principal, coming from Nose Creek School, filling the position as Clare Haney has moved to be an Assistant Principal, at Queen Elizabeth High School
  • Kris Reinhardt, retired CBE high school principal, will be the temporary principal as a new principal is hired.
  • The selection process is anticipated to be completed by 30 September 2021
  • The survey link below is provided to gather your thoughts regarding the attributes of the new principal of Robert Thirsk High School.  Survey closes midnight 03 September 2021. 

My sincere gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness for your support of Robert Thirsk students, staff, and our school culture during the past five-and-one-half years. Particularly during the past eighteen months and the challenges, we have faced successfully, together.

Ceud mile taing [A 100 000 thanks] for your support of me, as a principal and a person.

Wishing you and those important to you, much good health, many positive experiences, and better days ahead,

Matt Christison

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