For Jim Lamond, living and teaching students on Vancouver Island has always seemed like a far-off dream.
After spending several weekends on the Island in the late ’90s, Lamond fell in love with its communities, lifestyle, and cycling and kayaking culture. While he was born and raised in Richmond, for the past several years he has been applying for educator positions on the Island, hoping one day he’d be able to call it home.
That dream is finally becoming reality for Lamond, who has been appointed the new principal of Belmont Secondary school and will be taking over for Ray Miller, who retired at the end of the year.
“When [superintendent] Jim Cambridge gave me a call and said ‘would you like to come and serve the Belmont and Langford communities?’ I was all in. My wife and I made that quick decision within a second that yes, we’re going to do it,” said Lamond, who received the call in October and has visited Belmont on three separate occasions since.
“I’m really excited about starting at Belmont and just becoming a member of the community and serving the students, staff and parents the best I can.”
Despite spending the last 21 years in the education system, Lamond admits it wasn’t a career he originally set out to pursue. When he was in school, he described himself as a “reluctant or disengaged” learner, but coming from a family of volunteers, quickly found his passion for sports and started coaching when he was 13 years old.
He earned a bachelor of education degree from Brandon University, Manitoba and a master’s of education from Simon Fraser University. In 1996, he started as a teacher on call with the Surrey School District and became a vice principal in 2004, serving at three different schools. For the last five years, he’s served as principal of Tamanawis Secondary.
In the new year, Lamond will take over the helm at Belmont, where he’ll begin the process of coming up a new vision for the school with the help of students, staff and the community.
“My belief in leadership isn’t about my vision, it’s really about a community’s vision,” he said. “Part of that process is reflecting with the community about who they are, where they are and recognizing the rich history that the Belmont and Langford communities have and then working alongside the leadership team, staff, students and their families to set the course and navigate it together.”
Lamond’s wife, who is an elementary school teacher, and their two young children, who are in kindergarten and Grade 2, will finish out the school year on the Mainland, before moving to the West Shore.