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April 20th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 16
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Ian Baxter appointed new principal
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Ian Baxter, newly appointed Principal of Crowsnest Consolidated High School.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Next school year, Ian Baxter will be replacing Wesley Wescott as principal of Crowsnest Consolidated High School (CCHS).

Wescott has accepted a position as principal of the 12 Hutterite schools within the Livingstone Range School Division but will finish out the year at CCHS in the Pass.

Baxter has lived in Coleman and taught at CCHS for the past twenty years, serving the past seven as assistant principal. He has held an active role on the LRSD Professional Development Committee, been a member of the High School Redesign Committee as well as the Leader2Leader Steering Committee.

He’s earned undergraduate degrees in arts and education from the University of Lethbridge. He was instrumental in developing the Finland/Alberta partnership, which is focused on sharing and improving education in both countries. Baxter’s Masters of Education project ‘Creating Great Schools in Alberta and Finland through the Lens of the Fourth Way’ stands as testament to the exchange project.

“It’s exciting,” said Baxter. “It’s a new chapter for me. The last 20 some years of my life have been about CCHS and the community of Crowsnest Pass.”

At this point in his career, Baxter has taught some of the parents of many of his current students, which he called “an interesting scenario,” that “builds a strong connection between families and the school.”
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He said some of his students are concerned over who will be their social studies teacher next year as his principalship might affect his ability to teach.

“It made me feel good because that’s what I teach and I want good citizens,” he said.

He said it will be hard to see Wescott, his friend and fellow administrator, leave CCHS.

“That part will be hard…When Mr. Wescott came here I didn’t know him,” said Baxter. “But after the last eight years running the school together, I didn’t only get a new principal, I also got a new best friend.”
Wescott, a teacher and administrator with about 26 years of experience, came to CCHS from a previous principalship at Ecole Okotoks Junior High.

“It’s been a wonderful time both professionally and personally,” he said of his time at CCHS. “I’ve taught most of the kids that have gone through the school in the last five years. It’s nice to see them up on stage during graduation, getting diplomas and celebrating success.”

Wescott will be in charge of the division’s 12 Hutterite schools, which are spread over Southwest Alberta from Pincher Creek to Fort MacLeod. The tiny one-room schools have blended classes of students from grades one to nine and range in size from about ten students to 30.
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“I’ve been principal of a small school before but never something like this,” said Wescott.

The fifty-six year old said this could be his last professional hurrah.

“I could officially retire already but this came up and it’s something I’ve never done, it’s something different,” he said. “I wouldn’t have taken another high school, I like this school, but this is another experience, a different challenge.”

Wescott said he’s sure Baxter will do a wonderful job as the new principal of CCHS.

“I’m very pleased to know he’s going to move up and become principal and carry on the work with the staff, students, parents and community,” he said.

School administrators have already begun the process of looking for a new assistant principal.
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April 20th ~ Vol. 85 No. 16
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