May 17th, 2024

Public schools superintendent announces departure

By BRENDAN MILLER on April 13, 2024.

Mark Davidson, superintendent of the Medicine Hat Public School board, announced his retirement after serving the division for eight years. Davidson is pictured during a board meeting in January.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

Mark Davidson, who has served as superintendent for the Medicine Hat Public School Division for eight years, informed the board of trustees of his decision to move on.

In the news release the division said, “Mark has transformed MHPSD as a leader and a champion of student success. Mark’s leadership has demonstrably improved inclusive education practices and overtly supported safe and caring learning environment.”

Davidson will remain as active superintendent until the end of June. He told the News he has accepted a new education position in B.C. as superintendent of New Westminster Schools.

Davidson began his career as an educator 32 year ago as a Grade 5 and 6 social studies teacher. Davidson then became an elementary school vice principal while teaching classes at the same time.

He would later move on to become a high school principal for more than 11 years before working with the government for a short period then finally arriving in Medicine Hat as superintendent.

“I like to think that I’ve either had an impact or I’ve helped a lot of people make their impact stronger,” says Davidson. “Thirty-two years feels like a short amount of time right now. The thing that is exciting to me is I still love what I do and what we do in schools as much as I did 32 years ago.”

Davidson says his time in Medicine Hat has been the more rewarding eight years of his career.

“These are the finest people I’ve ever worked with” says Davidson. “The people of Medicine Hat send their kids to schools that are staffed by people who genuinely care about them and they’re learning.

“I’m incredibly impressed with the growth that our schools have achieved in terms of supporting students’ performance on assessments, while at the same time creating schools that are caring and inclusive.”

The division credits Davidson’s leadership throughout the pandemic. “His work allowed us to weather the storm and address the learning loss challenges better than most.”

Davidson says he tends not to remember many specific moments as much as he remembers his journey over the past eight years.

“I think what impresses me most about our community and about the staff and the board of Medicine Hat Public School Division, is the level of care and concern and consistent effort they put in to their own learning so they can best support the children and young people that we serve,” says Davidson.

The division says it is committed to ensuring a smooth transition and is expected to announce an acting superintendent next week.

“Davidson will remain in his role until the end of June and work closely with the board to ensure a seamless handover of leadership responsibilities.”

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