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2016 Montgomery Award Recipient

IMG 5131 resizedThe NSSBA Montgomery Award was established to honour the founder of the Association, Hector Montgomery. Each year this award to presented to a school board member to recognize outstanding board member service. The selection committee includes professionals from a variety of different backgrounds outside of the education community.

This year’s recipient of the Montgomery Award is Sue Ritchie from the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. Sue is currently serving her second term as NSSBA President, is the Vice Chair of the AVRSB and sits on a number of committees in her board, provincially and nationally.

For the past six years Sue has served as Vice Chair of her board. In this role she has developed leadership skills and is well respected and trusted by her fellow school board members. Her board members describe Sue as a contemplative, and insightful collaborative team member.

Her committee work is extensive, serving on multiple school board committees, including Education, Operations, Suspension Appeal, Finance & Audit and Human Resources. Sue's passion, knowledge and understanding of school board business has made her a valuable committee member over the years.

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New President and Vice President of NSSBA

At the NSSBA Annual General Meeting on Friday, June 3, 2016, two new members of the executive were named. Hank Middleton of Conseil scolaire acadien provincial was acclaimed President of the Association, and Dave Wright of Halifax Regional School Board, Vice President.

Mr. Middleton had previously held the position of Vice President of NSSBA, and Dave Wright was Treasurer. Both members bring valuable experience to their positions and look forward to continuing their work with the NSSBA.

A new Board of Directors took their oath of office at the banquet dinner on Friday night. The 2016-2017 Board of Directors are:

  • Hank Middleton, President
  • Dave Wright, Vice President
  • Susan Ritchie, Past President
  • Jackie Foster, AVRSB
  • Sandra Margettie, CBVRSB
  • Susan MacQuarrie, CCRSB
  • Blair Samson, CSAP
  • Christy Linders, HRSB
  • Vernon Simms, SSRSB
  • Richelle MacLaughlin, SRSB
  • Elizabeth Acker, TCRSB

Inspiring Communities Announcement

At an event in Dartmouth North, the NSSBA, along with Minister Casey and Minister Bernard celebrated the work of Between the Bridges, and announced a new provinical initiative - Inspiring Communities!

Rene Ross, Director of Collective Impact, will be working at the NSSBA to establish Inspiring Communities. The NSSBA is very pleased to be involved in this exciting work to engage communities and respond to the needs of families and students.

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Supports for our youngest students important

September 16, 2015
Open letter to the people of Nova Scotia from Susan Ritchie, President, Nova SCotia School Boards Association

Learning happens long before students take their first steps into their primary classroom on the first day of school. As parents and caregivers know, children start learning and observing the moment they are born.

School boards across the province have shown their support for early learning initiatives and integrated service delivery for students for many years. Through resolutions presented at the annual general meeting of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, members have acknowledged the importance of early learning. Board-based initiatives have also had some success in meeting the needs of their families and communities. However, a provincial strategy to address early learning was needed.

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Students get creative in addressing school bus red light violations

As part of the School Bus Safety Week kick-off, students from across Nova Scotia produced short videos reminding drivers to stop for the school bus

Dartmouth, NS - HALIFAX, NS, October 14, 2015 – Over the past two days, the importance of school bus safety has been acknowledged, marking the launch of School Bus Safety Week October 19-23, 2015. The first event, hosted by Q104’s Kate Peardon, took place at Safety Services Nova Scotia in Dartmouth. At the event winners from the student video contest were announced in all three categories: elementary, middle/junior high and high school. The second event was held this morning at Meadowfields Community School in Yarmouth where students celebrated their success as the video contest winners in the elementary category.

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NSSBA to Participate in the Nova Scotia Education Transition Task Force

As the provincial voice for Nova Scotia school boards, the NSSBA has been seeking ways to increase collaboration with education partners, both vertically and horizontally. The association is pleased that the government commitment to establish a transition task force has been announced, and that the NSSBA is a partner in this important work.


Under the leadership of the Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Deputy Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, Sue Ritchie, NSSBA President will join members from the public education community, universities, NSCC and other industry and business leaders. The task force will make recommendations to the departments supporting successful student transitions to post-secondary education and career paths.


The NSSBA and member boards have supported this kind of collaboration for many years. In the 2014 report, About Innovation, we stated that a stakeholder group for high school curriculum redesign should include these partners. We are happy to see this task force coming together, and we are looking forward to participating in the work.

School Bus Red Light Violation Awareness

The NSSBA has been working with Safety Services Nova Scotia, provincial government departments, and local law enforcement agencies to address the issue of school bus red light violations.

Each day motorists pass stopped school buses with their red lights flashing, and their stop sign arm extended. When buses are stopped like this, students are boarding or exiting the bus, and expect cars to be stopped. Passing a stopped school bus can be fatal, and also carries hefty fines.

Check out Safety Services Nova Scotia to learn more about the School Bus Safety Week Student Video Contest, where students are asked to help spread this important safety message. 

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Letter from NSSBA President Sue Ritchie regarding the Auditor General's report

School boards working to improve governance

School boards across the province were watching and waiting for the Auditor General to release his report on Halifax, Strait and Chignecto-Central Regional School Boards. While the audit focused on these three boards, everyone knew the recommendations would have implications for all eight school boards in Nova Scotia. As the organization that serves governing school boards, the Nova Scotia School Boards Association was also anxious to see the results of the audits.

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