School board chair is liaison for Summerland PAC

Neither of Summerland’s trustees on committee for community’s high school

SUMMERLAND TRUSTEES In October, Linda Van Alphen and Dave Stathers were elected Summerland’s school trustees. (Black Press file photos)

Two of the seven trustees at the Okanagan Skaha School District are from Summerland, but the board’s representative to the Summerland Secondary School Parent Advisory Council is from Penticton.

In early March, board chair Shelley Clarke appointed herself as the liaison to the council, after Trustee Linda Van Alphen stepped down from that role.

Van Alphen, from Summerland, announced her decision to step off the council at the Feb. 25 school board meeting, after Dave Stathers, another Summerland trustee, had been present at the council meetings.

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Stathers retired from teaching last year. He had spent 27 of his 29 years as a teacher at Summerland Secondary School.

Clarke said she did not give Stathers the role of the Summerland liaison because of his long connection with the school.

“As trustees, we have a different role with the schools,” she said.

By having Stathers as the liaison to the high school, Clarke believes the trustee’s role would have been blurred and the position would have been uncomfortable for staff at the high school.

Parent Advisory Councils allocate a considerable amount of money for the schools, Clarke said. Councils receive $22 for each student enrolled at the school and are able to designate where and how that money is used.

She added that the board liaison does not need to live within the community where the school is located, since trustees are elected to represent the entire district, not specific communities or schools.

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