Tony Baldwin has a history in Moose Jaw, albeit a limited one.
© Submitted photo
Tony Baldwin was announced as the Prairie South School Division's next director of education on Wednesday. He will assume his new role effective Aug. 1.
“I lived in Moose Jaw for a couple of years right after high school,” said Baldwin. “I took a course called Pre-employment Radio and Television Electronic Servicing at what was then Saskatchewan Technical Institute.”
That was in 1984 and 1985.
Later this summer Baldwin will return to the Friendly City when he becomes the Prairie South School Division’s (PSSD) new director of education on Aug. 1.
“I am certainly excited to come and be part of the team with Prairie South,” Baldwin told the Times-Herald Wednesday. “That sense of excitement and looking forward to an exciting future for Prairie South is a big thing.”
Shawn Davidson, PSSD’s board chair said in a news release that they are honoured to have Baldwin join their team.
“Our extensive search resulted in several excellent candidates, and the board chose Tony for his dedication to student learning and vision for a strong school division,” said Davidson.
Baldwin currently lives in Davidson with his wife, Sandra, and their three daughters: Nicole, 20, Kimberley, 18 and Kaitlyn, 16.
Tony currently works as a superintendent of education with the Sun West School Division. His primary responsibilities include strategic improvement planning and the operations of 12 schools in the division.
“I work with staff, students, School Community Councils and parents to make school as good as it can be for the kids who are there,” said Baldwin.
A holder of a Bachelor of Education from the University of Regina and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University, Baldwin previously served as principal at Davidson High School for 11 years, a teacher at Chaplin School and an instructor at the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Esquimalt, B.C.
Baldwin has taught english and language arts, social studies, physics, practical and applied arts and health.
“When I was a teacher I was primarily an english teacher,” he said. “That changed when I was a school-based administrator because principals tend to get whatever is left over.
“I taught a Grade 3/4 health class in my very first year of teaching, which I remember with some fondness. That was in Chaplin.”
Baldwin described Moose Jaw as the family’s “central place” when they lived in Chaplin. He remembers the frequent 45-minute drives between Chaplin and the Friendly City, including for some of life’s specialist moments.
“All three of my daughters were born at the hospital in Moose Jaw,” Baldwin said. “Kim and Nicole were born when we were still in Chaplin and after we moved to Davidson Kaitlyn was born.”
Over the years, Baldwin noted how fortunate he was to be involved in each of his daughters’ volleyball programs. That involvement has afforded him the opportunity to connect with many Prairie South schools and the people who work in them.
Sun West, like PSSD, has been fortunate in terms of graduation rates, which range between about 85 and 90 per cent. However, Baldwin is currently part of a team developing an early warning system for students who are at risk of not graduating.
“We have a group of kids who aren't graduating on time and what we found is that once they haven't graduated we've sort of lost touch with them,” said Baldwin.
He noted his team has been trying to figure out what the characteristics of kids are who don’t graduate in Sun West and back that up to Grade 9. It’s at that stage the team is looking to pinpoint which kids in Grade 9 are unlikely to graduate.
“It's not an exact science, but we should be able to tell fairly accurately who is potentially in a bit of trouble earlier than that,” said Baldwin. “I’m excited to bring some of that think with me to Prairie South.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks