Longtime South Cariboo teacher Murray Helmer has been appointed principal of Horse Lake Elementary School.
SD27’s superintendent Chris van der Mark announced Wednesday that Helmer will succeed Ty Lytton as principal, effective Aug. 1. Lake City Secondary School Columeneetza teacher Tess Riley will also become vice-principal of Cataline Elementary School in Williams Lake.
The new appointments come in the midst of a general shuffle of several administrative roles across the district. van der Mark said he welcomes both Helmer and Riley into their new roles. Helmer is expected to officially retire from teaching this June.
“Mr. Helmer has agreed to be appointed into the role of principal of Horse Lake Elementary in order to support SD27’s plan to build administrative capacity in 100 Mile and the surrounding areas,” van der Mark said. “He has a unique view into the complex world of administration through his years as the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association president and he has a profound sense of service in the work that happens in schools and the ultimate goal of improving life chances for students.”
Helmer first joined SD27 in 1982 and has been involved in working with the district to establish mentorship services and improve the recruitment of educators.
Riley joined SD27 in 2017 and van der Mark said during the past five years, she has gained experience in a variety of schools, including Big Lake and Mountview elementary schools. In 2020, she began working in Columneetza’s Grade 7 classes and became the department head.
“Ms. Riley has also been a part of the SD27 Leadership Series where she has been able to engage in significant conversations with regards to educational leadership and change,” van der Mark said. “We look forward to Ms. Riley joining principal (Yvonne) Davis and the team at Cataline.”