News & Events

Message from the New Westminster Board of Education and the Superintendent

Dear students and families,


Your Board of Education wishes to congratulate Superintendent Karim Hachlaf on being selected to lead Burnaby Schools as their superintendent, beginning April 1st 2024.

Karim has provided exemplary leadership to our district since beginning as Superintendent in 2018. Whether it was his commitment to consultation, engagement and collaboration, his remarkable communication to our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, or his leadership on anti-racism in schools, Karim has brought integrity, professionalism and courage to our work. New Westminster Schools has changed for the better through his leadership, in profound ways.

We know that Karim is committed to supporting a smooth transition over the next several months as we begin the recruitment process for our next superintendent. We are also lucky to have Secretary-Treasurer Bettina Ketcham and Executive Director of Human Resources Robert Weston who will, as always, provide stability and sound leadership as we move through the spring and into school year 2024/25.

We have engaged a leading recruitment firm to begin a search, here in BC and outside the province. While we begin to recruit a replacement, we are delighted that retired assistant superintendent Julie Pearce will join us as Acting Associate Superintendent in January. As we move through the recruitment and selection process, further leadership support will be provided as required.

We are confident in the District leadership team, which has been bolstered with strong recent hires bringing fresh insights and energy. At this point, our top priorities as a board are to provide support for the vital work of teachers, staff and administration in schools every day, and to secure our future superintendent.

New West Schools is a place where people learn and grow — even superintendents.

We are grateful for Karim’s service here in New Westminster and we wish him the very best.


Yours truly,


Maya Russell
On behalf of your Board of Education



Message from the Superintendent to Staff

Dear staff,


As a follow-up to the Board of Education’s announcement and tremendous support over the years, I wanted to personally express my sincere gratitude to all of you.

I entered New Westminster Schools almost seven years ago as the Associate Superintendent, and immediately, I felt genuine excitement and a connection to this community. When you know, you know. Eight months later, the Board of Education had confidence in my leadership abilities to lead the school district, and I proudly became your Superintendent. This is a very special district with great people doing great work. Together, we have truly created a better place for our students and one that will only continue to transform. The opportunity to serve students, staff and parents, and work together to ensure every student receives the support they need to thrive, is what makes New Westminster Schools a leader amongst school districts.

Then, the obvious question is, why leave? The opportunity to pursue the role of Superintendent for Burnaby Schools was unexpected and a difficult decision for me. Ultimately, the opportunity to have a positive impact in the community I reside in and a school district where my children attend is the reason for my departure. I also know that the next chapter for New Westminster Schools is poised to be even more exciting (minus a global pandemic) and I will be observing and supporting on the sidelines.

Thank you for your trust and confidence in me; I am forever grateful.