Angus Wilson is the new superintendent of schools for Mission District #75. He brings almost 20 years of experience with him in the education field. Most recently he was the superintendent in Haida Gwaii.

Communication is key according to new school superintendent

'My first job, for the first six months here, is to listen. That’s to staff, it’s to students, it’s to the parents and the broader public.'

Sitting at his new desk, Angus Wilson reaches over and grabs an old school microphone from a side cabinet. While his radio hosting days are long behind him, he smiles and says, “Imagine making school announcements on this.”

Wilson is the new superintendent of schools for Mission District #75 and while he doesn’t begin his new post until June 6, he recently sat down with the Mission Record to talk about his past experiences and the year ahead.

When Wilson, who grew up in Vancouver, first became a teacher, he decided to follow some advice to “go north, young man” and worked his practicum in Castlegar.

From there he went on to work as a secondary school teacher on a small reservation near Prince Rupert. Three years later he moved to Haida Gwaii on the north coast of B.C.

He remained there for the next 16 years, serving as a teacher at all grade levels, an elementary school vice-principal and a secondary school principal.

For the last eight years he has been the superintendent at Haida Gwaii.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity. I learned many things. We kind of punched above our weight in the things we’ve done and accomplished there,” said Wilson.

After eight years as superintendent, he’s done all he can in Haida Gwaii, but feels he has a lot more to offer Mission.

But there will be some adjustments. Haida Gwaii is a small school district. Wilson estimates that Mission is at least nine times larger.

“However, both districts are still what we might consider on the rural side of the spectrum. In some ways they have some very similar challenges and, in others, very different.”

The initial thing he plans to tackle in Mission is communication.

“My first job, for the first six months here, is to listen. That’s to staff, it’s to students, it’s to the parents and the broader public. I will listen to what people have to say. It doesn’t mean that everything someone has to say is what’s going to happen, but I will absolutely be listening,” said Wilson, adding he always asks people what it is they would like to see happen.

“It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen but at least I can say I heard from the person and I will endeavour to see if that is a possibility.”

He believes many problems can be avoided through better communication and problems can be solved through effective communication.

Wilson’s second task is to ensure there is always a system in place to deal with a complaint or an idea. Systems also need to be developed in other areas.

““I’ve got a reasonably good idea on systems, whether it’s at a school level with adjusting or fixing a timetable, to how funding works for a particular program.”

Part of the job is to find the balance points so schools have the resources they need, but balancing it out between all the different departments and schools in an equitable manner.

“The reality is there is never enough money and there are always more great ideas than you can access.”

He also wants to challenge people to grow personally and professionally.

“I think some really good initiatives are happening in Mission, but I think there are lots of things we can do, moving ahead, to expand and grow on that.”

He said Haida Gwaii is a leader in place-based education and culturally responsive education, or Aboriginal education. Wilson feels Mission can be a leader as well.

“The overall goal and the thing that is most important is success for all students in Mission and to lead a life that is a dignified and contributory life to their community. And connecting kids to their place, their school, their teachers is part of that.”

Wilson says research shows that kids who feel connected, comfortable and safe are far more likely to finish school and go on to post-secondary education.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kevin Fowler of Abbotsford won almost $57,000 in the Lotto 6/49 drawn from Aug. 15. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford man wins almost $57K in Lotto 6/49

Kevin Fowler matches five out of six numbers, using dog’s age and other numbers

Everett Silvertips’ Gage Gonclaves fights with Spokane Chiefs’ Filip Kral for the puck during the game on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mission’s Gage Goncalves invited to Hockey Canada’s World Juniors selection camp

Goncalves was recently drafted to the NHL in the 2nd round by the Tampa Bay Lightning

Mission firefighters in the process of hooking up a hose to a fire hydrant across the street. The fire was extinguished before it was needed. Patrick Penner photo.
Mission firefighters respond to house fire on Ferndale Avenue

Emergency scanners reported flames shooting out of bedroom window

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:56 a.m., Oct. 29.
TRAFFIC: Westbound Highway 1 crash between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Left lane is blocked, traffic backed up to No. 3 Road

Staff at Lowe’s Canada stores contributed more than $2.1 million to charities across the nation through their Heroes Campaign. In Abbotsford and Mission, three charities received a total of more than $25,000. (Submitted photo)
Lowe’s Canada donates more than $25K to 3 local charities

Funds will support non-profits in Abbotsford and Mission

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Most Read