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Posted: November 16, 2022

Solid start for new SD5 Board of Education

Doug McPhee

Last Tuesday, November 8, the new Board of School District No. 5 (SD5), Southeast Kootenay, was sworn in by secretary-treasurer, Nick Taylor.

The new board is comprised of four newly acclaimed/elected Trustees, Sarah Madsen (Elkford), Nicole Heckendorf (Fernie), Alysha Clarke (Jaffray/South Country), and Irene Bischler (Cranbrook) and five re-elected Trustees, Bev Bellina (Sparwood), Trina Ayling (Cranbrook), Chris Johns (Cranbrook), Doug McPhee (Cranbrook) and Wendy Turner (Cranbrook).

Prior to the swearing in ceremony Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre Jr. performed the land acknowledgement and sang the public version of the Ktunaxa flag song, sharing its significance with the board.

Following the swearing in, the board elected Trustee Doug McPhee to Board Chair, replacing the previous, long-standing chair, Frank Lento, who retired from public service prior to this year’s election.

McPhee addressed the newest board members, calling them “a welcome addition to the caring culture of [the] board, staff and district. He also discussed the importance of bringing the new board collectively to a “solid start”, indicating that an introduction (or review) to the board’s policies and the opportunities and the responsible limitations they create should be the first order of business for the new board.

“The previous board, with the help of staff –and under the guidance of Dr. Leroy Sloan, spent considerable time and effort to ensure district policies and practices provide clear communication and honour the responsibility we hold to parents, students, taxpayers, the School Act and to each other.”

To provide this “solid start” the board carried unanimously the following motion: “THAT the Board engage the services of Dr. Leroy Sloan to cover the topic of Board Governance including the Board Policy Handbook and the Administrative Procedures.”

Wasting little time, Dr. Sloan has been secured for November 21, prior to the board’s next public meeting of December 13, which will be held in Fernie.

Find more information on the SD5 Board of Education.

Lead image: the new Board of School District No. 5 (SD5), Southeast Kootenay. Photo submitted


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