It was with mixed emotion that four board members with School District 27 bid farewell at Tuesday’s open meeting.
Board Chair and Zone 2 Trustee, Tanya Guenther called it a bittersweet day as it’s nice but also sad for her to know that her seven-year journey is coming to a close.
“I’m excited to be able to take some of the time that I’ve spent here at the School Board office and in other capacities and take that time and spend with family as well as pursuing other interests and hobbies, as well as starting a regular 9 to 5 job in the South,” Guenther said.
Also leaving School District 27 following Saturday’s election is Zone 7 Trustee Bruce Baptiste who thanked his supporters and those who voted for him.
He says while he didn’t get re-elected he’s okay with that.
“It was a steep learning curve when I first got here,” Baptiste said.
” I came in here like a deer in headlights and muddled through, but I learned lots from each and everyone here.”
Zone 5 Trustee Sheila Boehm said she also learned a lot during her term and is excited to start her new journey with Williams Lake City Council.
“It’s been a lovely two terms for me,” said Boehm.
“I really think these last seven years have given me such great background in so many things. I’m excited to start my new journey, and I really feel like this journey has helped me to get there.
Zone 6 Trustee Brice O’Neill who did not seek re-election and was not successful in his bid for CRD Area F Director, thanked everyone for their leadership and professionalism.
“Four years ago I decided to run as a Trustee and I had no delusions in changing the system or making a significant difference in the way things are run because I knew that is not how governance works,” O’Neill said.
“My intention was to champion taxpayers with every opportunity afforded to me I would make decisions in the best interest of society at large. Three superintendents, three board configurations, four graduation speeches, a special advisor, dozens of meetings, and a few migraine headaches later I made the decision not to run again.”
“Some of the people I’ve met and had the pleasure of working with will stand out in my mind as a shining example of what the public service looks like: people who not blinded by self-serving entitlement or by a longtime personal grudge that loomed over decisions they made, men and women who through multiple personal and professional attacks both private and very public by others who when asked couldn’t provide evidence to support their vitriolic tirades, champions of what is right, not what is popular.”
New school board trustees will be sworn in at the Board’s inaugural meeting on November 6.
Guenther said she hopes as this transition occurs that the steps they’ve taken at this point to plant those seeds and begin that journey forward will take hold and that by spring they’ll see some blossoms.
“The work that we’ve been doing with our board partners in bettering relationships, strengthening how we interact with each other, encouraging additional engagement of our stakeholders in our processes, providing feedback and input; we’ve started that work with our board retreat this September called a journey forward and looking at how we can move forward to all come together and build a stronger system to provide the best education possible for students across the district.”