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‘I can no longer in good conscience maintain my seat on the board’: School trustee

School District 83 Board of Education: Back row- Barry Chafe, Chris Coers, Michel Saab, Bobbi Johnson, Bob Fowler. Front - Larissa Lutjen, Kelly Rowe, Jenn Wilchuk and Debbie Evans.
Image Credit: School District 83
April 12, 2016 - 12:11 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - Two trustees in the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District no longer feel they can sit on the board.

Trustees Barry Chafe and Jennifer Wilchuk filed letters of resignation as part of tonight’s School District 83 board meeting. The resignations come on the heels of public outrage over the transferring of annual budget surpluses, which were used in part to construct the new $9-million district education centre.

“In light of recent events I can no longer, in good conscience, maintain my seat on this board," Wilchuk says in her letter of resignation. “I feel that I have unintentionally let students, teachers and support staff across the district down and there is no longer any ‘trust’ in trustee."

She goes on to say she believes the process of effective governance within the board has collapsed and she is not optimistic in its restoration.

In his letter, Chafe says he made his decision in consultation with his doctor.

“Over the past number of years, it has become evident that my vision and view for the direction of the board has not been consistent with a majority of my fellow trustees. This has caused me great distress and stress, and over time this has had a negative effect on my personal health,” Chafe says.

Both will maintain their positions until fall of 2016 or until a by-election can be held.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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