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New school board brings skill and experience to the table

New School District 67 Chair Linda Van Alphen with Vice-Chair Ginny Manning. The two trustees bring 12 years each of experience to the school board.
December 12, 2014 - 2:29 PM

PENTICTON - With three new faces elected to School District 67’s board of trustees, new Chair Linda Van Alphen and Vice Chair Ginny Manning believe the board that will lead the school district for the next four years has experience as well as “diverse skill sets.”

Even though there are three newcomers to the board following the November 15 municipal election - Bill Bidlake, Barb Sheppard and Julie Planiden - there is no shortage of experience. Both Manning and Van Alphen have served for 12 years each, and both have well rounded experiences from having served in various roles on the board.

“It’s nice to have the chair position served by someone who has rotated through all the positions on the board,” Manning said, who served the role of chair from 2009 until 2013. Bruce Johnson took on the role until the recent election, when he chose not to put his name forward again.

Van Alphen and Manning said their immediate plan is to revisit the board’s mission statement and ensure that vision is being reflected in the superintendent's achievement report.

“I think there are good things happening, and we want to be doing what we say we’re doing,” said Van Alphen.

Manning noted the district had developed programs that could be considered success stories - Gateway, Through a Different Lens, Smart Learning and the  Aboriginal

Program - examples of the district’s initiatives to advance education and build relationships within the school district.

As budget time approaches, Manning feels the board is well positioned to take on the challenge of allocating school district 67’s $57 million budget.

“Without experience, it’s not an easy thing to wrap your head around,” she said, adding budgets were not that much fun for the board.

“Everybody wants,” she said, “cutbacks are difficult.”

Neither Manning nor Van Alphen feel the recent teachers strike has had any lingering, negative effects.

“We are happy to have them back,” said Van Alphen. “I think our relationships are respectful. We have some amazing staff in this district, and we are very proud of our staff.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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