Kastor Hansen gets the right timing on the double-Dutch ropes, cheered on by principal, Bruce Becker. For the past 10 years, Becker has been Silver Creek Elementary’s principal, he is now moving on to become principal at Coquihalla Elementary School. (Barry Stewart/Hope Standard)

Kastor Hansen gets the right timing on the double-Dutch ropes, cheered on by principal, Bruce Becker. For the past 10 years, Becker has been Silver Creek Elementary’s principal, he is now moving on to become principal at Coquihalla Elementary School. (Barry Stewart/Hope Standard)

Bruce Becker to be Coquihalla Elementary’s new principal, leaving role at Silver Creek open

Longtime SD78 educators Monique Gratrix and Peter Flynn are retiring

As two longtime Hope educators prepare to retire, Coquihalla Elementary School is getting a new principal and Silver Creek Elementary School will be on the hunt to replace their longtime principal.

Monique Gratrix, former Coquihalla elementary principal, and Peter Flynn who was acting principal at the school are both retiring. Bruce Becker will become Coquihalla’s principal as of Jan. 4, 2020, which leaves the school board looking for a new principal at Silver Creek elementary.

Fraser Cascade School District (SD78) Superintendent Balan Moorthy announced the staffing changes Tuesday, Oct. 27. He congratulated Gratrix and Flynn for their many years of service to the Fraser Cascade education community.

With 41 years in public education, Gratrix was most recently principal at Coquihalla elementary. She has been an administrator in both Agassiz and Hope. “Monique was an exceptional administrator with a strong work ethic and a deep passion for supporting her students,” Moorthy stated. “She will be dearly missed by her students, colleagues, the district leadership team and the board of education.”

Peter Flynn, a familiar face in Hope classrooms first as a student and then as an educator, is also retiring as of Dec. 31. “His history in Hope dates back to being a student at Coquihalla Elementary, a graduate of Hope Secondary in 1975, and 37 years as an educator in our district,” Moorthy stated. Flynn has worked in Boston Bar, Yale and Hope and his most recent position has been acting principal at Coquihalla elementary. “We will miss Peter’s commitment and care for the students in our schools,” Moorthy added.

Bruce Becker will take on the role of principal at Coquihalla as of Jan. 4, 2021. He was unanimously endorsed for the position by the board of education and was commended for his 16 years at Silver Creek Elementary, including 10 years as principal. “Bruce has done an exceptional job creating a powerful learning community at Silver Creek Elementary,” Moorthy stated. “His relationships with his staff, students, parents and our Indigenous community were key factors in our desire to promote Bruce as the largest elementary school principal in our district.”

Becker will be working with Linda Bailey, who continues as acting vice-principal at Coquihalla for the rest of the school year.

Becker’s move means the school district is actively hiring, both internally and externally, a new principal to take over his role at Silver Creek.

Thedistrict is looking for an “experienced elementary administrator with a strong background in early literacy, inclusive education, Indigenous education and technology.” Relationship-building with students, staff and the parent community will also be critical for the role, Moorthy added. The district hopes to have a new principal chosen by early December.

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