UPDATE: Third school trustee resigns in North Okanagan; encourages remaining board members to do the same | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Third school trustee resigns in North Okanagan; encourages remaining board members to do the same

Armstrong-Spallumcheen trustee Kelly Rowe at a board meeting April 12, 2016.
April 14, 2016 - 12:06 PM


NORTH OKANAGAN - A third trustee has resigned in the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District amid a controversy about how money was spent by the board.

Armstrong-Spallumcheen trustee Kelly Rowe tendered her resignation yesterday, April 13.

The news comes just days after fellow trustees Barry Chafe and Jennifer Wilchuk announced they were stepping down. The School District 83 board has been the focus of intense public pressure recently after parents discovered $10.5 million in surplus money was transferred from the operating budget into capital funds over the last five years. Some of the money was used to build the new $9 million District Education and Support Centre.

Parents are calling on the entire board, and the superintendent, to step down over the money transfers.

In her letter of resignation, Rowe encourages her fellow trustees to do the same.

“We are in this position of trust to serve our communities. When the community has lost complete trust in this board we are no longer effective and then what is the point,” she says in the letter.

Rowe urged her fellow trustees to dissolve the board at a packed public meeting Tuesday, April 12, however she did not receive support from a majority of trustees. The board instead voted to have a special advisor from the Ministry of Education review the board’s governance practices.

“I believe there is clearly a great deal of dysfunction within the board and I don't see how a ministry advisor is going to be able to fix that,” Rowe says in her resignation letter.

Rowe will maintain her seat until a byelection happens in June.

— This story was updated at 11:58 a.m. April 14, 2016 to include statements from trustee Kelly Rowe's letter of resignation.

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