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Farewell Superintendent Andrea

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This July, Northern Gateway will say goodbye to our longest serving Superintendent of Schools to date, Mr. Kevin Andrea. 

A seasoned and connected educational leader, Mr. Andrea joined NGPS in January 2006 with over 20 years of exemplary service in public education. He quickly made his mark with administrators, trustees and stakeholders as a straight shooter with a commitment to quality, student-centered education and strong divisional leadership. 

Mr. Andrea’s contributions to the Division, and accomplishments during his 15 year tenure with NGPS are many, beginning with the establishment of strong central support services for schools in the areas of teaching and learning, student services, leadership development, facilities and transportation services, and the Division re-branding. 

Under his direction, a Learning Services team was assembled to support schools and enhance promising practices in curriculum implementation, differentiation of instruction, authentic assessment and professional development - all drivers of student achievement and success. 

Division-wide and school-based professional development for educators, administrators and support staff expanded and deepened under Mr. Andrea’s management, to include ‘every day’ support from central services, targeted workshops, conferences and professional learning networks designed to foster instructional excellence and quality learning environments, a Division leadership capacity building program and a fully accredited Master of Educational Leadership program that was delivered on site by NGPS adjunct professors. 

Onoway Jr/Sr High School (OJSH) Principal John Lobo who has worked with Mr. Andrea for 15 years as an educator, division office coordinator, and school administrator, including during the build of the new OJSH school, commented,

“I appreciate Kevin’s focus, directional support, and the way he empowers and unites his school leaders. He has been a steady and articulate advocate for our rural school division and we are better for it. Because of Kevin Andrea, we are truly one school division, as opposed to a division of schools.”

With a commitment to process and collaboration, Mr. Andrea has initiated, developed and supported many Division programs in the areas of off-campus learning, mental health and wellness, and technology for education, including:

  • Registered Apprenticeships, Work Experience, and Dual Credit programs,
  • The Division’s three Mental Health Capacity Building projects, 
  • Division-wide Violence Threat and Risk Assessment training, 
  • The establishment of school wellness champions,
  • The hiring of a Division Student Supports Facilitator, and,
  • The development of a sustainable Division technology plan - enabling educational technology, devices in the hands of students, capacity building, and the infrastructure to support it all.

In terms of capital accomplishments, the new school builds of Onoway Elementary and Onoway Jr/Sr High School, the Division Office in Whitecourt and major school modernizations in Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe and Rich Valley, have all been completed under Mr. Andrea’s direction and relentless pursuit with Alberta Education officials and former MLAs to ensure that NGPS needs were being heard and presented. His political connections and Alberta Education relationships have been beneficial for Northern Gateway Public Schools. 

There has been much change and growth, and certainly challenges over Superintendent Andrea’s 15 year tenure. Throughout, Mr. Andrea has guided the Division through difficult but necessary discussions, engagements, decisions and, this past year, a global pandemic. He continues to do so with integrity, sensitivity, and the expertise his team and Board have come to expect.

“I have had the privilege of working with Kevin since June 2006. I knew that I was listened to and heard. More often than not, the ideas and suggestions that my team and I presented were accepted, sometimes with adjustments or tweaks but the Superintendent trusted our team, to bring forth researched and budgeted proposals that would better serve the students, staff and administrators of NGPS. When he says, “I trust my team to…” he means it; he does not micromanage or take credit. His line is ‘I’ve got your back, and greater minds than mine will inform us and guide us through the myriad of educational matters that we address on a daily basis.”

~ Michelle Brennick, Deputy Superintendent, NGPS

Of course, no one does it alone. Strengthening connections between schools, within communities, and provincially for the benefits of strategic planning, professional development, community partnerships and provincial advocacy has yielded immeasurable benefits for NGPS students and staff. A founding member of the Alberta Rural Education Symposium, Mr. Andrea demonstrates a thorough knowledge and understanding of education in the rural context and has been an eloquent and focused advocate for Northern Gateway Public Schools. 

Through 15 years, six successive boards, multiple governments, challenges and celebrations, some might say Mr. Andrea’s legacy is one of unity - working together - as professionals, as schools, as communities - for the betterment and advancement of all.

“Superintendent Andrea’s commitment to student success and to meeting the needs of students and staff will be felt for years to come in the programs, supports and results he has helped to build. Throughout the years, initiatives, challenges and successes, his commitment to one collaborative, connected school division remained constant. On behalf of the NGPS Board of Trustees, THANK YOU, for all you have done for our students, staff and schools. We wish you all the best in your next chapter.” 

~ Judy Muir, former longtime NGPS Board Chair and current Trustee

“It has been a pleasure to work with such a committed and supportive Superintendent,” shared longtime Valleyview Principal, Darlene Wood. “Mr. Andrea has challenged my thinking about teaching and learning in the ways all great leaders should, and supported the Hillside and Valleyview school communities through our own challenges and our celebrations. He will be missed.”

Former NGPS Trustee of 20 years, Terry Slemko, muses about Superintendent Andrea:

“While I am no longer a school trustee, I was a member of the Board when we hired him as our Superintendent. His integrity, his vision, his belief in his team, his political acumen, his provincial connections, his deep understanding of school finances, his quick - sometimes acerbic - wit and his Cape Breton charm served the school division very well. He is one of a kind. He left no stone unturned in trying to better the education system at NGPS and it is no doubt far better today than when he started. I hope we realize as teachers, principals, parents and students, how truly fortunate we were to have Kevin Andrea leading - steering the ship."

Visionary, “do-er”, and “captain of the fleet”, Mr. Andrea’s commitment to a collaborative and growth-oriented school division is evidenced in the programs, partnerships and student results we enjoy today. Superintendent Andrea, thank you for your service, your leadership and your care. You will be missed!



Farewell Superintendent Andrea

Special Board Meeting, May 9, 2021 Special Virtual Board Meeting, May 9, 1:00 p.m.