Head of School Looks Forward to a Long Future at SMUS

SMUS Board of Governors Chair David Angus is pleased to announce that the Board has finalized a new multi-year contract with Head of School Bob Snowden. This is Bob’s thirteenth year as Head of St. Michaels University School and the new contract ensures that he will continue to shepherd important strategic initiatives such as facilities redevelopment and the Leadership and Learning curriculum.

“Bob has three qualities that have been important to the success of the school: vision, strong principles and discipline,” says David Angus. During Bob’s tenure, the school has grown by nearly 100 students, financial aid has grown from around $180,000 in 1996 to $1.4 million, the curriculum has taken on a new direction toward international leadership and differentiated learning, and the campus has been rejuvenated. As well, the school has adopted a strategic plan and Bob has focused considerable effort on hiring and building a strong faculty and administrative team to help him realize the school’s goals.

The school’s recent evaluation by the Canadian Educational Standards Institute (CESI) offered a ringing endorsement of Bob’s leadership and the direction in which the school is heading. “[Bob’s] unwavering and constant affirmation of the school’s mission to all three schools and all SMUS constituents impressed the Visiting Committee,” reads the January 2008 report issued by CESI.

His guidance of the capable management team and his support of the staff were frequently mentioned [during interviews with parents, staff, students and alumni]. His commitment to the school’s Strategic Plan, with its ambitious renovation and building programmes, its emphasis on teaching excellence, and its restructuring of Admissions and Advancement was noted. It is no wonder that SMUS has accomplished so much in the past decade.

With many important initiatives on the horizon, including continued expansion and development of school facilities; further development of the leadership curriculum; continued growth in financial assistance; the pursuit of learning goals for all students; and re-engagement of the school’s alumni, Bob – with the help of his wife Joan – is looking forward to the challenges the next few years will bring.

About Bob Snowden

Born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga and Oakville, Bob Snowden attended Appleby College and went on to study English and philosophy at the University of Toronto. After earning his degree, Bob returned to Appleby as a French teacher with the intention of staying for only a year before pursuing a law degree. In that first year of teaching, Bob discovered his passion for education and his plans for the law were put aside. For the next ten years, Bob taught English at Appleby, eventually becoming the head of the English department and housemaster.

During the 1980-1981 school year, Bob taught at St. Michaels University School as part of a teaching exchange with SMUS English teacher Grenfell Featherstone.

In 1985, Bob accepted a position at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he eventually became the Assistant Head of Student Affairs and took over as acting Head of School in 1994. In 1995, St. Michaels University School came calling and Bob made the move to British Columbia to become Head of School.

Bob and his wife Joan, who plays a very active role in school life, have four adult children between them – Graham, Scott, Rodger and Jody. Rodger and Graham are also alumni of SMUS, graduating in 1989 and 1999, respectively.


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