Delaronde hanging it up after more than a decade heading up KEC

Kahnawake Education Center Director of Education Robin Delaronde is calling it a career after 36 years of shaping Kahnawake’s young minds – but not just yet.

Delaronde announced earlier this week she would be stepping away from the education sphere and into retirement at the end of the 2024-2025 school year, saying it was time to concentrate more on her family and loved ones.

“I am in good health, and it’s time for me to take advantage of that good health to devote more time to my family and my friends,” Delaronde said. “The KEC is in a very good place. It’s in a stable situation and it’s ready for new leadership.”

Delaronde began her career in education as a Grade 6 teacher in 1988.

“I worked not only as a teacher but as part of the curriculum development,” she said, before moving onto Kateri School where she was charged with the role of Associate Principal and finally, onto the KEC, where she took over as the Interim Director of Education in 2012. In 2015, ‘interim’ was removed from her title.

“I’ve always loved education, so it was hard to step away,” Delaronde said, adding a year-long transition period will allow time for the KEC’s next leader to emerge. “I still see myself contributing to education in some way, however.”

Kahnawake Combined Schools Committee (KCSC) chair Tahothoratie Cross said the KEC has benefitted greatly from Delaronde’s exceptional leadership.

“We’ve been lucky to have such exceptional leadership for so many years and we look forward to maintaining the standards that were set,” he said. “We’ve seen first-hand the hard work and dedication needed for this position and believe that we can work through a process which ensures the success of our next leaders, staff, students and all stakeholders.”

Delaronde said she’d be willing to help identify the KEC’s next Director.

“I’ve offered up my services if they decide they need them,” she said.

The KCSC said the search for a new Director of Education will begin in June, and the chosen candidate will receive mentorship from Delaronde during her final year with the KEC.

Delaronde said one of the highlights of her career was the Strategic Plan the KEC set forward in 2013.

“That was something I was very proud of. That strategic plan was a lot of work and we worked hard with stakeholders and parents to create something that has stood the test of time,” she said. “Moving forward, I am excited to see KEC continue to be a in a place where we are responding to the needs of the community.”

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase