Prince Rupert’s educational policy makers have elected new leadership moving into 2019.
The Board of Education elected school board trustee James Horne to be its new chair at its most recent meeting on Nov. 7. Horne replaces Tina Last, who has held the position for the past 13 years.
“I’m very proud to be a trustee in the first place and to have the confidence of the board to lead them through until next year,” said Horne, who thanked Last for her service in the role.
Kate Toye will join Horne as vice chair. Louisa Sanchez will represent as BCSTA provincial council member and Bart Kuntz will be the bargaining representative council member.
Horne said he wants to focus on getting more funding from the province to help with student needs in School District 52.
“Outcomes for our students is our number one concern at the board level,” he said.
Another goal for the district is to find ways to recruit a new district psychologist. SD 52 currently does not have a psychologist, which impacts student assessments and supports for students who may have learning disabilities or mental health issues.
The position has been open for years, but the board has been unable to fill it.
“We’re going to push hard and try to figure out new ways of trying to hire for that position because clearly what we’ve done hasn’t worked,” he said.
Horne also said that implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be high on the priority list.
“We have a high proportion of First Nations students in the district,” he said. “So those recommendations are clearly very important to us on the board.
“We need to go through the recommendations and be more proactive on implementing them.”
While it is still early in the new school board’s tenure, Horne said the new additions, Kristy Maier and Kate Toye, have had a positive impact.
“Clearly new faces on the board will energize the board as it should,” he said.