Sad to see Reekie step down from Board of Education

Editor: I was sincerely saddened to read Cecelia Reekie’s letter (The Times, Aug. 19) notifying the public that she will not be seeking re-election as a Langley Board of Education trustee this November.

She is a dear friend, and I believe this decision must have weighed heavily on her.  I know that she holds our district’s educators in highest esteem and takes pride in working together with all partner groups. She found so much joy in visiting Langley schools. Many of our discussions centred on the children and educators she had met, the conversations they had shared, and all of the amazing things she had seen happening in our schools.  I know she is proud to serve all of the children of Langley.

I have learned much by watching her serve as a public figure for the past few years. She was honoured to be the first Aboriginal person elected as a Langley school trustee, and took great pride in representing not only the public, but her family and her First Nations culture.

Some of the consistent messages she brought to students, educators and the public were:

• Embrace and be proud of who you are – your identity, your culture, and the unique gifts that you have to share with the world;

• Work together – create and value relationships by learning about others’ gifts, perspectives and experiences;

• Walk softly – listen more than talk, use gentle words, and be careful with others’ hearts.

I imagine that finding a balance between public and private life is difficult not only on public figures, but for their family members as well.  While I am happy for her, as my friend, that she will be able to spend more time with her family, as an educator, I believe that she has left a huge hole that will not be filled, and am truly saddened for Langley’s loss of a genuine advocate for vulnerable children and public education.

I am grateful for the gifts Reekie shared with our district, and look forward to seeing what endeavours she chooses to partake in the future. I would be proud to paddle next to her in whatever direction she chooses to go.

Dawne Edwards,