Article by Alexis Stockford from the Valley Leader (Pembina Today), please visit their website
ROLAND – Roland Elementary will have a new captain at the helm when school starts next week. Brandy Chevalier will be taking over from as principal from Cecile Affleck, who has moved on to become Carman Elementary’s new vice-principal.
“I’m just really looking forward to being in Roland School and getting to know the staff and students and community,” Chevalier said, adding that she’s already been in contact with several of the staff over the summer.
While the position in Roland is a step up on the administrative ladder (this will be Chevalier’s first experience as a principal), she didn’t move far geographically. Her last six years have been spent with Prairie Rose School Division’s neighbour, Garden Valley. Starting off at Winkler’s Emerado Centennial School, Chevalier taught for three years before moving to Prairie Dale School in Schanzenfeld, where she put in another three years. She accepted her new role as Roland’s principal this past June.
The position was advertised as more than just an administrator. Chevalier will also be taking on duties as a resource teacher for the school. Despite the many hats she’ll have to wear, Chevalier feels her qualifications are well in line with the job’s requirements.
She has both a Bachelor and Masters of Education from Brandon University, as well as a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Manitoba. In 2013 and 2014, Chevalier expanded her education with a Level 1 Administrator’s Certificate and training in Special Education.
“My qualifications matched perfectly with what was posted,” she said. “I’m also from rural roots and I would imagine that that was important, Roland being a rural school.”
It’s those rural roots that Chevalier feels will help her relate to her new community. According to her, a country upbringing fostered “a strong sense of community value – being willing to sit down and work hard and put in that sweat to achieve what you’re hoping to achieve.”
When asked about her direction for the school, Chevalier said that student retention is one of her major goals. Roland’s small facility tends to lose its older students, being caught between two school divisions and within driving distance of several much larger schools. “I’m hoping to increase student attendance through to the fifth and sixth year and to make sure that kids are feeling motivated to stay in Roland,” Chevalier said.
Roland school currently has about 60 students enrolled.