Baxter re-elected as Central Okanagan Board of Education chair

Moyra Baxter will head up school board for 10th consecutive term

Central Okanagan Board of Education chair Moyra Baxter with superintendent/CEO Kevin Kaardal. (File photo)

Moyra Baxter has been re-elected for another one-year term as chair of the Central Okanagan Board of Education.

Baxter was the lone candidate nominated for the position, elected by acclimation.

The vote was held at the Central Okanagan Public Schools annual general meeting, which took place prior to the board of education meeting on Wednesday evening (Nov. 10).

Baxter, who represents Peachland/Okanagan West, was first elected as a trustee to the school board in 1996, and she has served as board chair from 2002-2008 and then since since 2012.

She thanked the trustees for their vote of confidence in her.

“I know moving forward this year we will be dealing with many issues but I also hope we continue to celebrate the good things that are happening in our schools,” Baxter said.

Among the issues that lied ahead for trustees in the coming months include ongoing responses to COVID-19 related issues, a review of the catchment areas for Mission and Westside schools, the impact on West Kelowna schools with final approval of funding and a construction timeline for the new Westside Secondary School and facing enrolment pressures at several schools, most notably at Mount Boucherie Secondary and École Kelowna Secondary.

Also with the annual general meeting, the 2021 chair’s report to the board was deferred to the Nov. 24 board of education meeting.

All the trustees were invited to offer their thoughts on the past year and what lies ahead.

They all struck similar themes of the challenges of the past year, the support they received from school district staff and gratitude for the efforts of teachers and support staff, particularly in the face of adversity presented by COVID-19.

Baxter also cited the contribution of what she called the “administrative triad” – superintendent/CEO Kevin Kaardal, deputy superintendent Terry Beaudry and secretary-treasurer Ryan Stierman – for their “non-stop guidance” for the board.

She also cited the contribution of Mona Essler, executive assistant to Kaardal, and Michelle DesRochers, executive assistant to Stierman and the school board.

There was also an election of standing committee chairs with the new trustee appointees being: education and student services, Dean Broughton; finance and audit, Julia Fraser; planning and facilities, Chantelle Desrosiers; and policy, Lee-Ann Tiede.

Fraser was elected to represent the school district on the BC School Trustees Association Provincial Council, with Broughton as the alternate, and Bowman will be on the BC Public School Employers’ Association Representative Council, with Desrosiers as the alternate.