School District 71 office. File photo

School District 71 office. File photo

School district briefs: New secretary-treasurer in Comox Valley

School district joins with Village of Cumberland on child care application

School District 71 added a new senior staff member this month, as Brenda Hooker started work as secretary-treasurer.

She assumed duties as Nov. 1 and replaces Nicole Bittante, who left to become secretary-treasurer with Okanagan-Skaha School District 67.

Hooker was recently the secretary-treasurer in the Peace River North (SD60). She has a CGA designation in accounting and worked as an auditor. She also served as an elected school trustee for the Prince George district’s board of education (SD 57).

She has 20 years of experience as an accountant including more than nine years of experience working with boards of education in the province.

“I am thrilled to be joining the SD 71 team, bringing my experience to continue a long history in the district of educational excellence and fiscal responsibility,” Hooker said in a school district news release.

Superintendent Tom Demeo also mentioned the new addition at the school board meeting the week before she started.

“In selecting Brenda Hooker as our secretary-treasurer, we recognized the extensive knowledge, expertise and abilities she brings to the Valley. Her passion, to support student learning coupled with her vast accounting skills, will be a tremendous asset to School District 71,” he said in the news release. “On behalf of the board, I also wish to express appreciation to the staff, administrators and partners who were involved with the recruitment and candidate selection process.”

RELATED STORY: School district looking for new senior staff member

Child care partnership

The school district plans to go into partnership with the Village of Cumberland to establish a child care facilities on school grounds in the community.

The parties have been meeting this fall to discuss the idea, which came up at the Oct. 27 board of education meeting.

“I’m glad it’s coming to fruition,” trustee Sarah Jane Howe said.

Acting on a staff report, the board passed a motion to work with Cumberland on submitting a grant application that would support the development of child care on the school site.

“I look forward to seeing how it progresses,” trustee Kat Hawksby added.

The issue has come up at council meetings in Cumberland this fall. The plan was to apply in early November to the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund for up to $3 million in funding that could create up to 75 new spaces for children in the growing community.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland, school district apply for child care grant

Latest SD71 retirements

A human resources staff report at the Oct. 27 board meeting noted the latest retirements announcements for long-time district staff:

  • Audrey Lear, teacher, retired effective Aug. 31, 2020 after 22 years of service with the district;
  • Dona Brotherston, EA behaviour elementary, student services, will retire as of Dec. 31, 2020 after 27 years with the district;
  • Kathryn MacKinnon, EA behaviour elementary, elementary – French, Ecole Puntledge Park, will retire effective Dec. 31, 2020 following 24 years of service with the district;
  • and Nancy Walowina, EA secondary, Georges P. Vanier Secondary, will retire effective Dec. 31, 2020 after 30 years working with the district.

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