Lumby voters elected a newcomer and an experienced trustee in Saturday’s civic election for positions on the Vernon School Board.
Doris Squair and Mitzi Fortin will represent Lumby and Areas D and E for the next three years, having defeated incumbent Paula Harned, who had just wrapped up her first three-year term on the board.
Fortin led the votes with 582; Squair took the second spot with 373 votes. Harned came in with 331 votes.
Having previously served six years as a trustee, Fortin said she is thrilled to be back and is ready to serve her community by getting involved in education once again.
“My reaction on finding out was just total excitement,” she said. “It’s a bit of a homecoming, and last time on the board, it was a tough run with the school closures, and I felt I needed to gather my thoughts.
“I think for the future, we just have to look at a different way of using our schools and making them better, and we may eventually see career-driven education.”
Fortin looks forward to working with the new board, which is made up of four trustees who are serving for the first time.
“It is exciting with a new team to work with and see what their strengths are and what direction we want to go as a board and tackle the issues that we’ve got,” she said. “When you’re new to the board, you’re overwhelmed with the amount of information and research you have to do in order to keep on top of everything; you have to do your research in figuring out how to go, and we have a strong management team in place so that really helps.”
Squair learned she had taken the second Lumby and area trustee spot at 12:30 that night, and was starting to wonder if no news was good news.
“And then we received an e-mail and it was pretty exciting, and my kids are really happy for me,” she said.
As a newcomer, Squair is grateful to have experienced trustees to lean on for advice and support.
“I feel sorry for (district superintendent) Bev Rundell, because there are a lot of newcomers on the board, but I’m lucky I have Mitzi, because she has been in two terms,” said Squair. “We have a really good community of teachers here, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the teachers, parents and the students and becoming familiar, so they know I’m accessible.”