Erin Hay, former vice-principal of Fernie Secondary School (FSS) has been promoted to the position of principal for FSS and Kootenay Discovery School (KDS). Phil McLachlan/The Free Press/File

New administrators for Elk Valley schools

Erin Hay promoted to principal for FSS, Ian Jarrell promoted to vice-principal for ESS


School District 5

Two School District 5 employees in the Elk Valley have taken on new roles as leaders in the school system.

Ian Jarrell has been promoted from a teaching position to vice-principal for Elkford Secondary School (ESS) and Erin Hay, former vice-principal of Fernie Secondary School (FSS) has been promoted to the position of principal for FSS and Kootenay Discovery School (KDS), a distance-learning program. Replacing Hay as vice-principal is newcomer, Rachel Romero.

Jarrell, an Ottawa-native and District employee of 11 years, says he is excited to tackle his new leadership role as vice-principal at ESS.

“It’s been so enjoyable teaching students and watching them grow and learn as individuals. As vice-principal, I’m excited to work with teachers and support staff as we continue to embrace the newly revised curriculum, with its focus on individualized student learning,” he said.

In addition to his passion for education, Jarrell also enjoys coaching Junior and Senior Girls Basketball, as it allows him to interact with students and youth in an environment outside the classroom.

Erin Hay was born in Cranbrook and graduated from Mount Baker Secondary School (MBSS) in Cranbrook in 1990. She has been an educator for 22 years, 15 of which have been in SD5.

“I’m looking forward to the start of the school year; to greet new and returning students and to assist staff as they provide our students with a welcoming learning environment both in the classroom and outside in our community and our natural environment,” said Hay.

“I’m also very excited about the new opportunities for Kootenay Discovery School as it moves to its new home in the Kootenay Learning Campus.”

In her downtime, Hay and her family are avid winter skiers. In the summer, Hay and her family enjoy biking and camping and sea kayaking on B.C.’s west coast.

Romero, who will replace the vice-principal vacancy left by Hay, was born in Sparwood. She spent one year as a teacher’s assistant prior to working as a teacher, a position she has held for nine years. Romero previously worked in Vernon as a resource-based, and resource-room teacher.

Romero says she was drawn to SD5 in part because of the Kootenay Learning Campus, a new facility which opened in Fernie on Tuesday. It will provide learning opportunities for school-aged students in the Distance Learning Program and adult students wishing to complete their high school diploma.

“I get to be involved in the development of a program that supports both school-aged and adult-learners using a self-paced, distance learning approach. To be able to teach in such a flexible and personalized learning environment is so exciting!”

Romero, who was a middle distance runner for the track and field team while attending the University of Calgary (U of C), enjoys cross-country and distance running, as well as coaching these activities. She looks forward to being involved in these sports in Fernie.

Lento believes that Jarrell and Romero are a good fits for their respective new schools. “Each school has its own unique culture. This culture is taken into consideration whenever the Board appoints a new administrator to a school.” Lento adds that Hay has “naturally proven herself an excellent choice for principal” for FSS, during her tenure as vice-principal for the school.

For a list of Elk Valley principals and vice-principals for the 2019-2020 school year visit or contact the school in question directly.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Aquatic Centre vandalized, pool potentially contaminated

Windows broken, bike jumps flipped, dirt jumps damaged

Former Liberal candidate endorses Greens in Kootenay-Columbia

Don Johnston says he’ll be voting for Abra Brynne on Oct. 21

Sparwood locals compete for best scarecrow

Submitted Sparwood Chamber of Commerce During the month of October, the Sparwood… Continue reading

Fernie Half Marathon sprints into greatness

The Fernie Half Marathon, 3-Runner Relay and 10k kicked off under blue… Continue reading

Vehicle incident temporarily closes Hwy 3 east of Sparwood

This afternoon at approximately 4 p.m., DriveBC reported that Highway 3 was… Continue reading

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Most Read