Friday, November 21, 2008

Seven selected to watch over education

With a large field of ten to choose from on Saturday, voters who took the time to cast a ballot in the school trustee election provided for seven names to take on the challenges of education on the North Coast.

There were six city seats up for grabs and one rural seat and for the most part it was a fairly familiar roster of names that will return, ready to take up their duties in offering guidance and oversight on school board issues for the next three years.

The Wednesday Daily News provided a recap of the vote tallies and some background on the school board vote.

Slew of would-be trustees sifted by voters
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Pages one and three

After an election race with the largest number of school trustee candidates in recent history, voters have chosen their new seven-member school board.

Lading the race with 2,187 votes was incumbent board chair Tina Last, followed by fellow incumbents Bart Kuntz and Russell Wiens who received 1,850 and 1.719 votes respectively.

Louisa Sanchez was the fourth trustee to be returned to the board with 1,550 cotes, followed by newcomers Terri-Lynne Huddlestone with 1,448 votes and Leonard Alexcee who received 1,110 votes.

Dorothy McLean was the closest unsuccessful candidate to winning one of the six Prince Rupert seats, receiving 1.062 votes, followed by incumbent Brian Johnson and his 967 votes.

Tailing the list of 10 Prince Rupert candidates were June Lewis and Leona Peardon who received 783 and 628 votes respectively.

The new rural Board of Education trustee is Janet Beil, who received 125 votes, followed by Vernon Eli and Barry McDonald who tied for second with 76 votes each.

Pamela McArthur completed the race with 41 votes.

Votes for the single rural trustee were cast by residents of Port Simpson, Metlakatla, Hartley Bay, Oona River, Dodge/Crippen Cove and the District of Port Edward.

“I was happy to see that the people who did turn out supported me,” said Janet Beil of her win.

“Given my background, I hope that the voters in the rural communities feel that I have a passion for looking after their needs, and not just Port Ed. There really hasn’t been a clear message out there that the First Nations people in the outlying areas really have a voice on the school board, and they know that I’ll work passionately and do the best I can.”

Fellow newcomer to School District 52 Board of Trustees, Terri-Lynne Huddlestone, was also honoured to learn of her election, and thanked the citizens of Prince Rupert for putting their faith in her.

“I’m very humbled by it, and I sincerely hope that in the next three years we’ll see some good things for our school district and our community of learners,” said Huddlestone.

“I think what’s really important is to start to rebuild some of the relationships and trust within the district, and I also think that there are some concerns in regard to school closures and the capacity of schools.”

Leonard Alexcee was the third fresh face to e voted into a three-year term as school trustee, and although he could not be reached for comment yesterday, there is no doubt the elder has had a smile on his face.

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