North East School Division prepares to work with a new board

·2 min read

The North East School Division election has been complete for this upcoming council term.

Kathrene Bank, Dustin Kelsey, and Kevin Graham came into the position unopposed and were acclaimed to their position as new school division trustees.

Lori Kidney, Ted Kwiatkowski, and Marla Walton will return to their seats at the board table as unchallenged incumbents. Walton, the longest-serving member of the board and the Nipawin trustee, was chosen as the board chair for the term with Kidney, the Tisdale trustee, appointed vice-chair.

One election took place for Subdivision 2, with Kevin Trew and Mervin Edwards battling for the seat. Trew took the election with 197 votes to Edwards’ 144.

Seeing the new board come together for their first meeting on Nov. 17, Don Rempel, the division’s director of education, said he already can see how solid they are as a team.

“They've got very backgrounds and experiences. And you can tell already the chemistry is very positive. And they're going to be able to add some perspective and value to the governance process.”

One subdivision remains unclaimed with the Subdivision 5 seat remaining empty, Rempel said, until a byelection can fill it. Subdivision 5 includes the communities of Naicam, Gronlid, and Star City.

With the majority of the board being new to their positions, Rempel said board education will be a big part of the term moving forward with governance training coming to the entire board.

“The board will be seeking out an external facilitator to come in, which is a really good process to go through because you kind of get a common understanding of how the governance process should look.”

Other goals for the new term will include a renewal of the board’s strategic plan, including a look at their vision mission, the guiding principles, and then specific goals for the upcoming term, he said. This will be a major topic of discussion for the next six months, Rempel said.

Bringing stakeholders into this discussion, Rempel said they will be doing some surveys and questionnaires to have those voices included in the new plan.

Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist