Editor: The more I read about the issues with schools on the Willoughby slope, the more and more thankful I become that Superintendent Cheryle Beaumont is no longer in charge, and that only two of the old guard trustees remain.
It was well worth the money it took to have Beaumont leave the district.
During Beaumont’s reign in Langley, six schools were closed, with those communities ripped apart.
Murrayville Elementary was only 25 students short of full capacity. Students in that community are now busing or being driven to the middle school.
Bradshaw sits like a boarded-up, derelict eyesore in the middle of its community. Its playground was long ago removed.
The community that was H.D. Stafford Secondary (Langley City’s only high school) was closed, and a controversial middle school was opened on the site. The citizens of Langley were never given a dollar figure for the reconfiguration. Trustees in office at the time did not insist on the information before voting.
Trustee Alison McVeigh did offer this when asked. “Middle schools are cheaper to run than high schools, but more expensive than elementary schools.”
No wonder the $13.5 million debt was accrued on their watch. The debt was exposed when Trustees Robert McFarlane and Wendy Johnson were elected to the board in 2008, and insisted on an audit.
Johnson campaigned with a moratorium on middle schools in Langley until actual research into their educational merit was performed, and as she topped the polls that year it was clear voters agreed. Unfortunately, the superintendent and board majority were determined to push through their agenda.
I encourage the parents of the Langley School District to refresh their memories of the past six years by reading the archived newspaper articles and letters kept on the Langley Leap website. I think they will find it very informative. It can be accessed here.
And last, please don’t blame the five relatively new trustees for the current mess. They are trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered and divided school district.
They are trying to make the best of the situation created by the previous board majority.