Trustee Rod Ross signs his oath with Honourable Judge Rita Bowry. Miranda Fatur Black Press

Long-time trustee takes on School Board Chair

The new Langley Board of Education was sworn in on Nov. 5.

The Langley School Board’s mix of new and old faces were sworn in at the inaugural meeting on Nov. 5 at the School Board office.

Trustees Megan Dykeman, Suzanne Perreault, Marnie Wilson, Rod Ross, and David Tod were elected by the Township and Tony Ward and Shelley Coburn were elected by the City.

The trustees were sworn in by Honourable Judge Rita Bowry.

During the meeting, the elected officials voted Dykeman for Board Chair and Coburn for Vice Chair.

In the Oct. 20 election, incumbent Megan Dykeman topped the polls with 13,420 votes.

“Having the chair position is an honour and privilege and it’s one that I take seriously,” said Dykeman.

“I believe some of the most significant issues that we do have is our space and communication within the district and moving forward to ensure that our long-term facilities plan is put in place and student success stays at the centre.

Dykeman also mentioned she wants to work closely with the province to ensure adequate funding is in the district.

Incumbent Ross gave advice to the new Board members.

“Be an asker, choose to listen, be comfortable with disagreement. Do not take offence and expect the best of each other. This is a new Board, we need to say goodbye to yesterday. With fresh ideas, it’s a new era.”

Several trustees thanked their friends and family for support, and promised to put children’s interests and needs first.

Newcomer Wilson said it’s a privilege to serve as a trustee.

“Different people run for elected positions for different reasons, the most common reason is out of frustration with the current system or a desire for change. I don’t think it’s a secret those are the reasons I ran. I am passionate about communication and consultation—two areas that are key for public engagement.”

Wilson said she wants to increase interaction with the public, actively seek solutions to staffing shortages, and work on improving student resources and inclusion.

Of the elected trustees, Dykeman, Ross, Coburn and Tod are returning to the board, while Perreault, Ward and Wilson are newcomers.

Board chair Rob McFarlane opted not to run again, as did trustee Alison McVeigh.

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