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Tonia Frawley picked as school board chair for Comox Valley

Board will serve one more term before going before voters next fall
Tonia Frawley was picked as the new school board chair. File photo supplied

The board of education for School District 71 will have a new chair for the final year of its four-year term.

Tonia Frawley, who represents Comox, was chosen as chair at a meeting on Nov. 23. Both she and the chair for the last year, Sheila McDonnell, had been nominated for the position.

The trustees vote by secret ballot, after which time the ballots are destroyed, so no indication is given of the number of votes each received.

Frawley was first elected to the board in 2018 after she had served as the chair of the district parent advisory council (DPAC) for several terms.

RELATED STORY: Tonia Frawley running for school trustee position in Comox

When nominated at the meeting, she talked about the need to make the students the most important piece of school district work. She also said she was excited to continue the learning process as a trustee.

“We are a learning community,” she added.

After being chosen, Frawley thanked McDonnell for serving as chair for what had been an interesting year.

For the position of vice-chair, trustees picked between Michelle Waite and Janice Caton. Waite was chosen through the same process.

In her remarks to her colleagues, Waite said, “It’s been another year of the unexpected. I’m proud of the work that we’ve supported, the decisions that we’ve made and the dedication in the room.”

As well, the board picked representatives and alternates to the B.C. School Trustees Association provincial council, which acts as the advocacy voice for school trustees in the province, and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA), which is the accredited bargaining agent for the province’s 60 boards of education.

For BCSTA, Caton was acclaimed for the position. Sarah Jane Howe, who had been nominated but declined, was later acclaimed as the alternate representative. She said she probably would have calendar conflicts preventing her from being the regular representative, but that she looked forward to learning more about the position from Caton.

Frawley was also nominated to be BCPSEA representative, but she declined, citing her new role as board chair, so McDonnell was acclaimed for the position. Frawley was also nominated as the alternate but again declined, as Kat Hawksby was acclaimed.

The board reviews the chair, vice-chair and representative positions each fall.

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