Rising in the ranks
Dr. Judith Knapp new super for public school board

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 17/00) - After nearly a year of speculation, the Yellowknife Education District No. 1 Board has finally chosen its new superintendent.

The board announced on May 12 that acting superintendent Dr. Judith Knapp has been given the job after a lengthy search that began with the dismissal of former superintendent Dr. Kenneth Woodley last October.

"This has been a long time coming," board chairman Dan Schofield announced at the district office Friday.

"The board started advertising for a new superintendent in December and had a candidate by early January. We wanted a superintendent with a wealth of experience. Someone who's gone through the ranks ... we have found our champion."

Knapp had been serving as acting superintendent since Woodley was suspended by the board last June.

The new superintendent has a long history as an educator and school official in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

She first came to the North as a school teacher for the community of Gjoa Haven in 1975, where she developed and implemented the Inuktitut as First Language of Instruction program. By 1980, she was working as a teacher consultant for the Department of Education, Inuvik Region, where she remained until 1985.

After several years rising the ranks in several school administration jobs in B.C., she returned to the North in 1998 as assistant superintendent for the Yellowknife Education District No. 1.

"I'll never forget how YK Education District No. 1 helped me out on the field," said Knapp, after the board made their announcement.

"So now I think it's my turn to give back the gifts that have been given me."

After the announcement of her appointment, Knapp made assurances that the Woodley affair has not hampered Yellowknife Education District No. 1 in their work over the previous year.

"We can't let things stall us," Knapp said.

"We have to care about the students. We're moving forward. I don't think we stalled at all over the last year."

Woodley did not wish to comment on Knapp's recent appointment.