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New school year and new principal at Islands Consolidated


Published on September 6, 2017

Robert Morgan is Islands Consolidated School’s new principal. He has a vision of expanding rural curriculums to fit and follow local cultures and identities, a passion he developed while teaching in the village of Umiujaq, in the Nunavik area of northern Arctic Quebec.

©Amy Tudor

FREEPORT, NS – Islands Consolidated has a new principal with a unique vision to transform the curriculum to reflect and represent island culture.

Meet Robert Morgan, the Digby native who’s just become the new principal of the Freeport school.

After 14 years of living away, Morgan sure is happy to be home.

“It was time. My wife and I were both teachers, and were looking to come back to Digby. This was the perfect time to do it,” he said.

 

From one small community to another

Previous to his new appointment, Morgan and his wife taught for seven years in the village of Umiujaq, in the Nunavik area of northern Arctic Quebec.

It was there, while he was completing his Masters’ thesis, that he noticed how the educational system doesn’t reflect all rural communities, particularly those marginalized by distance from urban centres.

That’s when he decided he wanted to work to change that, from an administrative position.

“My time up north with showed me the importance of ensuring the culture of those you’re teaching is reflected in what you teach them,” he said.

“My students had a strong, rich Inuit culture they were very proud of. That’s the way it should be.”

Like his students up north, Morgan sees other areas of rural Canada suffering from educational marginalization.

He wants to ensure Digby doesn’t become one of them.

 

‘A strong educational institution’

Morgan is proud to preside over Islands Consolidated, which he sees as a school with a strong educational tradition.

He never attended the school himself, but intends to lean on previous principal Scott Webster’s experience, along with other teachers and staff.

“Webster decided to shift back into teaching, so I’ve got him by my side to help me as I get to know the school and its students,” said Morgan.

“I’m fortunate to be working with such a strong and experienced team of teachers, and will work to continue what Webster worked towards during his time as principal.”

Morgan is happy to be home and to once again be living in a rural setting.

He is extremely proud of his Digby heritage, and wants others to feel the same.

He says the best approach to this is by ensuring its proper representation – and most of all, celebration – within the educational curriculum of all schools, including Islands Consolidated.

“I think of this new role as educational leadership – a position from which I can work to change this,” said Morgan.