After 36 years with the school district – at the helm for nearly the past decade – Jim Cambridge will be hanging up his hat in August. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

SD62 superintendent bids farewell

After 36 years, Jim Cambridge to hang up his hat

When Jim Cambridge graduated from high school, he admits he faced the same daunting question that many SD62 students face – what am I going to do after high school?

Heading into university, he realized there were so many fields he could potentially get in to, but there was one experience in particular that helped shape his future. When he was a teenager he helped coach soccer and enjoyed the support the coaching staff provided to players, and wanted to provide that same support to students as an educator.

“It seemed like something worth doing,” Cambridge said. “I struggled a bit as a student myself and so I had a fair amount of empathy for any kid that struggled in learning as well and thought it would be great to have an opportunity to work with them.”

And that’s exactly what he’s been doing. Now, after dedicating the past 36 years to the Sooke School District, including the last nine years at the helm as superintendent, Cambridge has decided to hang up his hat.

“School District 62 has been such a big part of my life for so long, it’s hard to imagine it not being,” Cambridge said.

“I’m excited. It’s the right time for me to retire, I’m leaving the district in really good shape. I’m excited about all of that, but I admit, I have a bit of anxiety, I’ve been working since I was 15, so I’m not sure what it’s like to not have a job.”

RELATED: SD62 superintendent announces retirement

Cambridge’s career with the school district began in 1981 at Sangster Elementary school. Over the next several years, he bounced around to numerous schools including John Muir and Ruth King elementary schools, as well as Spencer Middle School. He also held a number of portfolios within the board office, and has been the superintendent and CEO since May 2009.

During his time as superintendent, Cambridge has led the district through a time of unprecedented growth. When Cambridge first came to the school district he described it as “sleepy,” but it has since transformed into the fastest growing school district in the province.

When asked what his proudest accomplishment was, Cambridge was quick to note his successes were those of the school district. Those successes include the opening of Royal Bay and Belmont secondary schools in 2015, the growth of sports academies and French Immersion programs, as well as the district becoming one of the first to support nature kindergarten programs.

Cambridge said there has also been a shift in parents’ expectations for education, with more of a focus on creating well-rounded students that have a strong education, and are involved with extra-curricular activities such as sports and arts.

“I think in the old days, people were quite satisfied with the education they were receiving, but I think now families are expecting more for their kids, which they should, so they’re looking at making sure they have opportunities that obviously have excellent education, but we also have the largest sport academy program in the province for example,” Cambridge said. “Those types of things have made a really big difference.”

Cambridge believes the school district will continue to grow in the coming years, but noted the challenge will be ensuring there is enough classroom space for students.

RELATED: Sooke School District gets new superintendent

School board chair Ravi Parmar said Cambridge has mastered being an educator and balancing the needs of a growing district, and will leave a lasting legacy.

”I can say this with full confidence that Jim Cambridge is the best superintendent in this province. While we’re so happy that he’s moving on to the next stages of his life, we’re so thankful and sad in a way of Jim leaving, because he’s such a phenomenal superintendent,” Parmar said.

“He’s just left an outstanding legacy for so many people in this district … He’s quite a remarkable person.”

The school district board has appointed Scott Stinson as Cambridge’s replacement.

Stinson has worked in education throughout Greater Victoria for more than 30 years, including the Sooke School District where he was once a principal at David Cameron Elementary in Langford.

He is currently assistant superintendent for the Saanich School District.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


SD62sooke school district

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Sooke School District superintendent Jim Cambridge has led the district through a period of unprecedented growth. After 36 years with the school district, Cambridge will be hanging up his hat in August. See the full story on page 4 (Kendra Wong /News Gazette staff)

Just Posted

HMCS Victoria popping up as training sessions underway

MARPAC says plume of smoke normal for recharging submarine

Friday night tickets affect Saturday behaviour at the University of Victoria

Saanich police see direct response after issuing several $230 fines

Sidney part of a region that suffers ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Consultants find that Sidney needs 233 new spaces to meet the current demand for daycare

Thieves harvest from 11 unlocked cars in Oak bay

Looting unlocked cars called ‘farming,’ says deputy chief

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

COVID-19 liquor, music rules extended with fines

‘Nightclubs must cease operating as nightclubs’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Carole James heads ‘caretaker’ B.C. government

James is among 15 MLAs retiring at the end of their current term

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Most Read