The Ryan Land saga – that began more than two years ago – is over. An arbitration hearing had been set to begin June 18 but was cancelled when Land and School District of Mystery Lake (SDML) trustees reached a deal, announced June 20 by board chair Alexander Ashton in a press release representing a joint statement from both parties.
Ashton said Land offered his resignation to the SDML June 14, effective last Nov. 18. The board, Ashton said, as a result accepted Land's resignation and rescinded his termination.
Both Land and the SDML have withdrawn all claims against each other and there is no longer any litigation between the parties, Ashton said. Land is now "welcome back on school property just any other member of the public," said Ashton.
"Both parties wish to end their differences and move forward in a postive manner," Ashton said.
No further public comment will be made by either party, according to the joint statement.
Before becoming principal of R.D. Parker Collegiate in August 2009, Land had spent the previous academic year in West Africa as principal of the Canadian Independent College of Ghana in Accra, a Canadian university preparatory co-ed college day and boarding school. Land completed one year of a five-year contract in Ghana, but, as was allowed in his contract, resigned from the position for family-related reasons.
The Canadian Independent College of Ghana is a licensed sister campus to the Canadian Independent College (CIC), a co-ed university preparatory college, formerly known as the North Wilmot School, which opened in 1964 and is located in Baden, Ontario. It is a member of the Council of Advanced Placement Schools in Ontario.
The saga here began about nine months after Land took the helm at R. D. Parker, when on April 27, 2010 trustees publicly rebuked him during a board meeting and announced that his probationary status, normally one year in duration, was being extended another year after a unanimous vote by the board of trustees, who had considered the option of terminating Land's employment, but ultimately decided not to.
Trustees then twice in identical 5-2 splits on Feb. 22 and April 5, 2011voted to remove him as probationary principal.
Then in mid-June last year, trustees subsequently fired Land for cause – four months after they had removed him as probationary principal. At a trustees meeting the day before graduation, former superintendent Bev Hammond provided details of an investigation she said she had conducted, which she said found that students had had marks changed without doing remedial work, responsibility for which she later laid at the feet of Land in an interview with the Thompson Citizen. Hammond's marks-changing investigation focused only on the years that Land was principal.
By that point Land had been hired as corporate affairs manager for Vale's Manitoba Operations, a position he still holds.