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OES Principal Bo Macfarlane to take new post at Midway high school
Osoyoos Elementary School Principal Bo Macfarlane is moving on to the next chapter in his career this summer, but he says his eight years here have been the best in his life.
“Part of my career goal is to be a principal at different age levels,” said Macfarlane, who turns 44 next month. “I’m high school trained as a teacher, so I really wanted to be a principal of a high school. This was the opportunity that came to me, so I took it.”
Macfarlane will return to Boundary Central Secondary School in Midway where he taught when he first moved from Abbotsford to the B.C. Interior early in his career.
Macfarlane began his teaching career at the high school level in Abbotsford and it wasn’t until he began his administrative career as a principal that he moved to the elementary level.
“I’ve been in elementary administration as a principal for the past 11 years,” he said. “Three years in Rock Creek and eight years here. This will be the next chapter for me, to be a high school principal.”
Macfarlane is full of praise for Osoyoos, the children at his school, the active parents, his staff and the Parent Advisory Council (PAC).
In his new position, he will continue to live in Bridesville, east of Osoyoos, and says he will continue to spend time in Osoyoos.
“I’m just up the hill, so I’ll still be a familiar face around town,” he said.
Macfarlane’s wife Jennifer teaches Kindergarten in Midway. They are parents of four young children.
“We sort of straddle the two communities and we spend a lot of time in Osoyoos and it’s a lovely place, but we also really enjoy Rock Creek and Midway. So we have the best of both worlds.”
His location made the job in Osoyoos attractive eight years ago and he thought he would try for the principal position here, even though he suspected he wouldn’t get it.
“Lo and beyond, I got the job, and it’s been absolutely wonderful,” he said. “The best eight years of my life.”
Asked about the highlights of his time at OES, he points to the people before mentioning specific achievements.
“The children who go here, they’re just wonderful kids,” he said. “They’re an absolute treat to be around. We’ve got a great staff. The staff has changed quite a bit and I’ve been able to hire a lot of people, so I really feel like I’ve been able to put a personal stamp on the culture of the school. I’ve found the parents to be fantastic. They’re here when we need them. They value the school.”
A recent project he points to as a highlight is the ambitious playground renovations that were completed last year with the active involvement of the PAC.
Macfarlane is also proud that Osoyoos was the first elementary school in Canada to run a hockey academy.
“We’ve done quite a bit of innovative things here,” he said. “Our use of technology in the school is second to none.”
OES has also embraced a new individualized, project-based learning style referred to as the 21st century classroom. It has doubled to four from two the number of classes involved.
While Macfarlane said he can share in this success, he credits vice principal Shendah Benoit for taking the lead on the project.
“She’s really been the driving force,” he said. “My role as the supervisor of the school has been that I got on board because I saw the value.”
Macfarlane will remain at OES until July.
“I’d like to say thank you to the Osoyoos community,” he said. “It’s been an absolute honour to be principal of the school for theses years. I’m leaving happy and I have nothing but great memories and will cherish my time here forever.”