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School principals change places with Caroline Pennelli taking top job at OES
Several local school principals will be moving this summer with Caroline Pennelli taking over at Osoyoos Elementary School (OES) at the beginning of August.
Pennelli has been principal at YouLearn.ca, the distance education arm of School District 53.
Stepping into her position as principal at YouLearn.ca is Glen Heinrichs, who left his position as principal of Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS) last year to take a leave of absence.
The shuffle was triggered by the previously announced departure of OES principal Bo Macfarlane, who is moving out of the school district to become principal at Boundary Central Secondary School in Midway in the coming weeks.
The staffing decisions were made by the school board in the interests of the entire district, said board chair Marieze Tarr.
“We just considered the best fit for the district,” she said.
Heinrichs said that when he took his leave of absence, he was told he would be given another position when he returned, but that he would be placed wherever the school board needed him.
“When you take a leave, you can’t demand anything, you can’t dictate terms,” Heinrichs said. “I feel highly privileged at the board because I don’t think the board has granted administrative leave before. So I’m more than grateful that they granted it and wherever they placed me I was happy to go.”
The experience at YouLearn.ca will be different from a brick and mortar school, he admits, but he said he is looking forward to working with its excellent staff, to the change and to taking on new challenges in his new job.
Pennelli could not be reached for comment, but her biography on the YouLearn.ca website says she has worked in education for more than 20 years.
She taught Grades 2 to 8 in England, Ontario and B.C. and was an English as a Second Language (ESL) consultant in London and Cambridge in the UK.
She has held administrative positions at elementary schools in the Toronto area and has also worked with the B.C. government on language arts curriculum development.
Pennelli moved to the Okanagan in 2008. She swims, hikes, bicycles and enjoys literature and classical music.
“I am very happy that she’s going to come and join us at Osoyoos and I’m looking forward to working with her,” said Tarr. “I think she’s going to be a great asset to our school and our community.”
Heinrichs started his education career in 1990.
He served as vice principal for four years at South Okanagan Secondary School, before taking the same position for two years at OSS. He then served as principal at OSS for six years.
In the past year he has done some substitute teaching and currently teaches three days a week at YouLearn.ca.
“Other than that, I’ve been enjoying my time off,” he said.
YouLearn.ca uses online learning for its courses, but there is also some in-class instruction at campuses in Osoyoos, Oliver and Keremeos, as well as through educational services provided to Portage, a residential rehabilitation treatment program for adolescents located near Keremeos.