The new school trustees for the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District marked the beginning of the next chapter for the district Nov. 15 as they took the oath of office, taking over from Official Trustee Mike McKay.
During the inaugural meeting of the board at the District Education Support Centre in Salmon Arm, the five trustees who will represent the school district were sworn in by Provincial Court Judge Edmond de Walle and welcomed by district staff, members of the community and a small handful of students. A group of First Nations students, led by Indigenous education worker Dodie Jones and Splatsin Chief Wayne Christian, opened the evening with a collection of traditional drum songs.
The recently-elected trustees are Tennile Lachmuth (Armstrong-Spallumcheen), Quentin Bruns (Sicamous-Enderby), Marty Gibbons (North-South Shuswap), Amanda Krebs (Salmon Arm) and Marianne VanBuskirk (Salmon Arm).
Prior to Official Trustee Mike McKay taking over in June 2016, the School District 83 board of education consisted of nine trustees, which was reduced to five after a recommendation from McKay and consultation within the district.
During the inaugural meeting, the positions of board chair and vice chair were also appointed by a vote from the new trustees. Marianne VanBuskirk won the position of board chair by a vote of 4-1, while Quentin Bruns was appointed vice-chair by acclimation.
The new board of trustees discussed their first round of district business on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the District Education Support Centre in Salmon Arm.
Trustees were appointed as representatives to each of the five standing committees in the district. Tennile Lachmuth will chair the policy committee, Quentin Bruns will sit on the labour relations committee, Marianne VanBuskirk will chair the education directions committee, Amanda Krebs will represent the finance and facilities/audit committee and Marty Gibbons will chair the partner group table.
Tennile Lachmuth was also selected to represent the board on the B.C. School Trustees’ Association’s Provincial Council, with Quentin Bruns serving as alternate.
During the Nov. 20 meeting, Salmon Arm Secondary teacher Gloria Cox sought approval to plan a 2020 field trip to Ireland, England and Scotland through the company EF Tours, which was approved to move ahead to the next stages.
Two policies were recommended for implementation in the district: a protocol surrounding concussions from school sports and other recreational activities and another regarding impairing substances in the workplace in light of recent cannabis legalization. Both of these policies were approved in principle and more information will be available as they are created and implemented in the district.
A jazz group from SAS, known as ‘Five Shades of Gray’ and consisting of Madeline Wiebe, Gray Simms, Matt Burke, Luke Rivette and Carson de Vries, treated attendees to a selection of jazz tunes before speaking about their invitation to a national music festival in Ottawa in 2019. They are seeking fundraising opportunities to cover the cost of the trip, offering to perform at any parties or community events in the area. The group can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next School District 83 Board of Education meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at the District Education Support Centre in Salmon Arm, and is open to the public.