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New principal wants small school to think big

Written on January 19th, 2012

Scugog Christian School’s new principal is thinking big.

Mike Vanderboor came to the Port Perry elementary school in September and says like many small schools, there is no strategic plan in place.

“Part of my vision coming here is we’re a small school, but let’s start acting like we’re a big school,” says Vanderboor.

“Hopefully through that God will provide more students and we will become what our goal is, to be that big school,” he says.

Scugog Christian School hasn’t had a strategic plan since the late 1990s, says Vanderboor, something that’s common with small schools.

There are currently 48 students at the school.

From January through March a second board meeting has been added, at which Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools director of advancement Ray Hendriks will discuss board governance and vision for the future.

Vanderboor says having that guidance and means “we can develop the school and have a plan for the future rather than the next five minutes.”

The board and others in the school community are excited about it, he says.

“I think people have seen it as a need, but there hasn’t been the time or the push for it,” says Vanderboor.

Before he was hired, with met with the board and staff, and says there was sense that there needed to be some direction for the school.

Vanderboor has set two goals for himself.

His first priority as principal is to build relationships with people, because “without that, I’m not really useful here,” he says.

His second goal is to start to create a vision that will be implemented in his second year as principal to “really grow the school.”

Vanderboor says he and the board will drive governance of Scugog Christian School.

To help with the vision a committee of community members, including teaching staff, alumni and current parents, people who have been part of Christian education for a long time and people new to Christian education, has been struck.

“We have a wide spectrum, even within our board,” says Vanderboor.

“We’re excited to draw a vision from a wide range of people associated with the school,” he says.