Janice Caton, left, is one of only three Comox Valley Schools trustees that will run for re-election next fall. File photo.

Comox Valley Schools to see trustee shakeup next fall

Four of seven trustees have stated they will not run for re-election in October

There will be some new faces at Comox Valley Schools’ board of education meetings next year.

Of the seven school board trustees in the Comox Valley, four have stated they will not run for re-election in October.

Cumberland trustee Vickey Brown, Area B trustee Tom Weber, Courtenay trustee Cliff Boldt, and Comox trustee Peter Coleman have said they will not try to reclaim their seats. Weber spent four terms on the board and Coleman spent two terms, while Brown and Boldt spent one term each.

Current board chair and Courtenay trustee Janice Caton, Area C trustee Ian Hargreaves, and Area A trustee Sheila McDonnell have said they will run for re-election.

Information session for the public slated for September

The high turnover of trustees is prompting the school district to host an information session in the second week of September for potential candidates. Caton said the meeting will go over the fiduciary roles and responsibilities of sitting on the school board.

“As a trustee, there are certain things you need to know,” she said, adding the Comox Valley school district will also post necessary information on its website over the summer.

Caton said there are likely personal reasons for the outgoing trustees’ decisions not to run for re-election, but she mentioned the term length and time commitment that comes with the positions.

Read More: School trustee Cliff Boldt stepping down

“Four years is a lot of work and it is a time commitment,” she said. “People have to be willing to commit the time to it. There are a lot of meetings.”

Despite the dedication required, Caton said being a school board trustee is a great way to give back to the community.

“I believe in public education,” she said. “This is about the kids and how we support our students in the classroom and our school community — ensuring our students and schools have the right tools, resources, flexibility and support to provide our kids the education they need.

Caton said community interest in running for trustee positions varies every election, noting only two trustee positions were acclaimed in the last election and five candidates ran in Courtenay.

The nomination period for the Oct. 20 elections is slated for early September.

The last board of education meeting of the 2017-18 school year takes place June 26 at 7 p.m. at the Comox Valley Schools office on Cumberland Road.

The current board of education’s term ends Oct. 31.

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