The Baragar Story
Baragar was founded in 1981 by Chuck Curteis in White Rock, Canada.
Chuck began his career in education as a 19 year old teacher in British Columbia. He soon became a high school administrator following the completion of post graduate studies.
His career path took him to Ottawa, where he headed up the Elementary-Secondary Education Statistics Branch of Statistics Canada, Canada’s national statistical agency.
While participating in an annual meeting of CASA (Canadian Association of School Administrators), at lunch, and on the back of a napkin, he outlined a process that would eventually become the basis for the first of the Baragar suite of software products, a unique and superior way of creating enrolment projections. The process was developed and tested, at the school district level, in co-operation with the Manitoba Department of Education.
Chuck and his family then moved back to B.C. where he headed the planning department for the Surrey School District. At that time, Surrey was the fastest growing District in Canada. Chuck immediately replicated the unique enrolment projection process at the school level, and was able to convince the B.C. Government that the Surrey School District required and deserved over 50% of the entire provincial capital budget that year compared to 0% the previous year.
Shortly thereafter, the Burnaby School District contacted Chuck asking him to help them justify capital. Chuck started speculating about improvements and design changes with his computer savvy son, Jason, and Baragar was born. With the blessing of the Surrey Superintendent Doug Jennings, Chuck embarked on setting up a company to help other School Districts and Boards across the country, while continuing to work in Surrey.
Over the next decade in Surrey, 32 new schools and more than 40 additions were constructed, 5 schools were closed, magnet programs were introduced, and junior/middle schools were phased out and elementary and secondary schools offered new grade ranges. In dealing with all these planning problems, the ideas for the remaining software solutions in the Baragar suite emerged.
As a testament to the quality of the software and the customer service, the first Clients from 1981 and 1982 – Burnaby, Victoria, Mission and Richmond – are still Clients to this day. Baragar currently employs 22 full-time staff; serving 112 School Districts enrolling in excess of 2.3 million pupils in both Canada and the United States.