Dale Saip is stepping down as chair of the Delta school board.
This district this week announced that Saip, who's been chair for the last six years, would step down at the board's inaugural meeting next Tuesday as it starts the second year of a three-year term.
Saip will continue to serve as a school trustee.
"Strong leaders plan for the future and succession," said Saip in a district news release. "High quality administrators and dedicated, talented board members are well positioned to build on Delta's exceptional performance."
Student achievement and graduation rates have steadily improved since Saip was first elected in 1987, according to the district.
Saip is particularly proud of
Delta's success with aboriginal students.
"There's a lot more work to do, but Delta aboriginal students are achieving well above the provincial average," he said.
A steady enrollment decline in Delta continues to be a challenge for the school board, which has been involved in a number of initiatives to retain and attract students, including starting specialty academies.
Expanding programs and offering unique opportunities for students are some of the factors Saip credits for Delta's ability to attract more than 1,200 students from outside Delta.
"If we don't offer what parents and students want, they'll find it somewhere else," said Saip. "We've worked hard to excel in a very competitive environment."
The district has also had success attracting more international students, which translates into much-needed dollars to help balance the books.
However, despite all those proactive measures, the board has been forced to make a number of cuts to balance its budget over the past number of years.
The most painful and controversial came in 2009 when the board decided to close Delta Manor and Boundary Beach elementary schools.
Even though enrollment has gone down, another challenge the board has to deal with is an increase in the number of special needs students.
The district is forging ahead with a new education vision for learning, including offering even more choices and flexibility such as online courses for each student to suit their individual needs.
Superintendent Dianne Turner said the district is in a positive position and Saip has been an important factor in that success.
The new chair will be selected among the other six school trustees at the inaugural public meeting on Dec. 11.