An educator with extensive experience overseas and in Canada has been tabbed to head up Squamish's newest private secondary school.
David Baird, who currently heads up an international school with 2,700 students in Mainland China, has been chosen as the first head of school for Coast Mountain Academy (CMA), which is slated to open for students in Grades 7 through 12 in September.
Baird, who has a Masters degree in educational administration and postgraduate training at Harvard and Columbia universities, will arrive in Squamish in late January, CMA officials said in a statement issued on Friday (Jan. 18). He'll spend February “working with the leadership team to develop all aspects of the school,” officials said.
Baird, a former Parks Canada naturalist, has either taught at or administered schools in B.C., Ontario, Swaziland, Vietnam and Thailand, officials said.
“We are thrilled to have David leading Coast Mountain Academy into its first year and beyond,” said Geoff Park, CMA founder. “After an extensive global search for a head of school, we believe that David's academic qualifications coupled with his diverse Canadian and international independent school experiences provide a strong fit with our vision.”
Said Baird, “Coast Mountain Academy's emphasis on providing engaging 21st century education, while balancing service, experiential, and university preparatory education, are priorities that I value and have sought to nurture in institutions of which I have been a part.
“My wife Marie and I are avid divers, boaters, cyclists and campers and we are keen to join a community that values lifestyle and high educational standards. The opportunity to work together with committed families and community members to develop an innovative educational environment is the realization of a long-standing goal.”
CMA's programs will operate on the campus of Quest University. An information meeting with Baird in attendance is planned on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Quest multipurpose room. For more information visit www.coastmountainacademy.com