Completion of a new build at Vernon’s BX Elementary is among the highlights of work done by school trustees in the local district over the past four years. The current board chair encourages everyone to get out and vote for trustees, along with the municipal candidates, in the Oct. 15 election. (Michael Hintringer photo/courtesy SD22)

Completion of a new build at Vernon’s BX Elementary is among the highlights of work done by school trustees in the local district over the past four years. The current board chair encourages everyone to get out and vote for trustees, along with the municipal candidates, in the Oct. 15 election. (Michael Hintringer photo/courtesy SD22)

Vernon School trustees vital to local governance

Feeling almost forgotten, board chair encourages voters to get to know candidates prior to vote

They are, says Vernon School District board chair Gen Acton of Lumby, the forgotten entity of municipal elections.

But school trustees, she adds, are just as vital to vote for as mayor, council, and regional district. And Acton is hoping for a great voter turnout for all on Oct. 15.

“Voter turnout for trustees is nowhere near as high as the turnout for the municipal votes,” said Acton. “Today’s students are our future leaders. The vote is vital.”

Trustees are regularly included on the municipal election ballots along with mayoral, council and Regional District of North Okanagan candidates (though all RDNO directors have been acclaimed for 2022).

The board of education is comprised of seven trustees elected from areas as follows:

• Four from the City of Vernon and Electoral Areas B and C;

• One from the District of Coldstream; and

• Two from the Village of Lumby and Electoral Areas D and E.

The corporate board and not individual trustees have the rights, powers, duties and liabilities as prescribed in the School Act.

Acton and Lori Mindnich have been acclaimed in Lumby and Areas D and E, so village residents do not have to vote for a trustee. Greater Vernon residents, however, will have a say in the five other seats available.

Incumbents Jenn Comazzetto, Mark Olsen and Tom Williamson in Vernon face challenges from Philipp Gruner, Sylvia Herchen, Jewlie Milligan, Vanessa Mitchell, Truman Spring and Nellis Villegas.

Incumbent Robert Lee is being challenged in Coldstream by Sheri Minard and Kelli Sullivan.

Vernon Secondary School will host a school trustee candidates forum Monday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in the school theatre.

“Get out and meet the candidates,” encouraged Acton, who became a trustee in 2018. She has been board chair the past two years and with her kids finished school she wants to continue giving back to the community.

Acton provided a list of 19 accomplishments achieved by the Vernon school board over the past four years, including the completion and new build at Vernon’s BX Elementary and the completion of the new school district office.

Four new academies were started – first responders, health science, dance and volleyball.

“We restructured the district administration,” said Acton, referring to the hiring of a new superintendent, assistant super, secretary treasurer, assistant secretary treasurer, finance manager, and health and safety manager.

They helped navigate the district through COVID-19, continue to develop and train with Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) leads, and approved an approximate $112 million budget for 2022-23.

Eight childcare modules are in the last stages at Ellison, Alexis Park, Mission Hill and Harwood schools in Vernon, among a 13-point list from Acton of work that started over the summer of 2022. Lighting and HVAC upgrades are on target for a number of schools.

The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District includes Armstrong and Enderby schools. But there will be no school trustee vote in the North Okanagan areas as Tenille Lachmuth (Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area D) and Brent Gennings (Enderby, CSRD Area E, District of Sicamous, RDNO Area F) have been acclaimed to the board.

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READ MORE: Vernon lawyers breaking down barriers to justice


@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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Election 2022North Okanagan Regional DistrictSchoolsVernon

 

Completion of the new, renovated Vernon School District office is among the highlights of work done by school trustees in the local district over the past four years. The current board chair encourages everyone to get out and vote for trustees, along with the municipal candidates, in the Oct. 15 election. (Morning Star - file photo)

Completion of the new, renovated Vernon School District office is among the highlights of work done by school trustees in the local district over the past four years. The current board chair encourages everyone to get out and vote for trustees, along with the municipal candidates, in the Oct. 15 election. (Morning Star - file photo)

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