Thomas Sierzycki. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Former La Ronge mayor and Sask. Party candidate in last year’s provincial election, Thomas Sierzycki, is now the director of education for the north. It’s a new role he took on in December.

He says it has been hectic getting adjusted, but he is adapting well to his new job as a senior public servant.

As director of education for the north, Sierzycki, on behalf of the Department of Education, works with school divisions in the kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum.

He still maintains his home base of La Ronge and works out of an office there. He says he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We decided that for the time being, we would like to contribute to the north a little bit more,” he said.

One area that is a major concern is the Aboriginal graduation rate. It is about 40 per cent, less than half the rate for non-Aboriginal students. Sierzycki says progress is being made, but much more needs to be done.

“When you start young and you concentrate on those fundamentals such as literacy, you can eventually get those graduation rates to be higher than they are now,” he said.

Sierzycki is a certified teacher with a bachelor of education degree. He taught for a couple of years before entering the world of politics.

Just weeks after being appointed, Sierzycki learned his salary was being cut by 3.5 per cent as part of the provincial government’s new austerity measures.