Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 4, 2006
Red Deer superintendent has ample experience
Paulette Hanna has led East Central district, been deputy in Red Deer
"Our district is achieving very well and we will continue to achieve well."
- Paulette Hanna
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Red Deer Catholic School Board has appointed a seasoned school administrator as the division's new superintendent.
Paulette Hanna will take over as superintendent effective March 1, 2007. She replaces Donald Dolan, who is retiring after nine years in the position.
Hanna is not new to Red Deer Catholic. She has been the division's deputy superintendent since 2001.
Prior to that, she was superintendent of the Wainwright-based East Central Catholic School District for two years.
"I'm very excited; this is a great opportunity to continue my career in Catholic education," Hanna said from Red Deer Nov. 28. "I am excited to be able to continue providing an excellent quality Catholic education to our students."
Board chair Gord Bontje is also pleased. "We are extremely pleased that Paulette has agreed to accept this position," he said.
"Paulette has had a long and successful career in education and is a proven leader who will continue to give our division the strong focused leadership that we have come to expect."
Hanna and her husband Blair, a retired school administrator, live in Red Deer and have two grown sons: Luke, 24, a student at SAIT, and Ike, 27, a teacher.
"My plans are to continue on the journey toward excellence in Catholic education," she said. "Our district is achieving very well and we will continue to achieve well."
Red Deer Catholic has about 6,500 students and a teaching staff of 405 in 16 schools in Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House and Sylvan Lake. A new school will open in Sylvan Lake in September 2007 and another will open in Olds a year later.
"Red Deer Catholic is a very progressive (school district)," Hanna said.
"It continues to grow population wise plus we are able to do lots of innovative types of projects both with programming and with infrastructure."
The district, for instance, is a champion in the use of technology, having an online school and making use of video-conferences to teach. "We also have outreach programs, which is an excellent opportunity for students who are not able to succeed or need more flexibility than the traditional school offers," she said.
Hails from Trochu
Hanna, who was born and raised in Trochu, began her teaching career 35 years ago as an elementary teacher with the Northlands School Division in Calling Lake, Alta.
Seventeen years ago she moved into school administration, serving as principal of various schools, including schools in Kitscoty and Vermilion.
In the late 1990s she joined the administration office of East Central, a closely-knit district serving schools in Wainwright, Vermilion, Killam, Provost, Castor and Halkirk.
She served as deputy superintendent of East Central for two years until 1999, when she became superintendent following the retirement of George Bunz.
Hanna said she moved into school administration because she likes challenges. "It's a different challenge," she explained. "I've always enjoyed teaching and working with students and connecting with them but there is always the point where you just need a different challenge."