Former Ponoka teacher is now Eckville principal

Ian McLaren has been appointed as the new principal of Eckville Elementary School, effective at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.

“I am very excited about becoming the principal of Eckville Elementary School. I am, at heart, an elementary teacher and I feel my abilities best fit this position,” McLaren said.

“At the same time, I am sad to be leaving Bentley School as I have made deep connections to the staff, students and community. I will endeavor to make building new relationships in Eckville a top priority and have already been made to feel very welcome by the staff there.”

McLaren has served as the assistant principal at Bentley School for the last four years. During this time, he also taught a variety of subjects and grades and coached several sports teams.

Prior to this, he was an elementary school teacher, having taught Grade 1 teacher at Rimbey Elementary School and grades 2 and 5 at Ponoka Elementary School. His teaching skills and enthusiasm for helping students succeed were recognized in 2007 when he was nominated by the parents and staff of Rimbey Elementary School for an Alberta Education Excellence in Teaching Award for innovative and outstanding teaching.

“Mr. McLaren has established a strong reputation as a leader in both his administrative and teaching experience over a number of years in Wolf Creek Public Schools,” commented Jayson Lovell, assistant superintendent of schools. “He is highly skilled in building relationships with all stakeholders but most notably, seeking opportunities to engage the community in creating active partnerships with the school. I have every confidence Mr. McLaren will be highly successful in this new role at Eckville Elementary School.”

In his life outside of school, McLaren is the captain, training officer and a firefighter with the Bentley Fire Department. He also is an avid reader, enjoys outdoor activities (especially fishing) and is active in his church.

“I am married to a wonderful woman, Carolyn, who is also involved in working with children and their parents in a wide variety of roles in the community. She has worked as a preschool teacher, educational assistant and many other positions in which her love of children and amazing ability to make them feel special is invaluable. I have two children, Heather, who is in Grade 8 and Chris, who is in Grade 7. We all love the outdoors and camp every summer in a tent, the way camping was meant to be.”