Election 2014: Election shakes up school board

John Koopman and Heather Stewin are voted in as new trustees

Two local newcomers will be joining the Fraser-Cascade Board of Education following Saturday’s municipal election.

John Koopman received the most votes in the Hope electoral area with 882, while Heather Stewin garnered 868.

Current board chair Linda McMullan was also returned as a trustee with 745 votes. Pat Furness finished with 734, Marv Cope 702 and Robert Genaille 290.

“It was a very surreal and humbling feeling hearing my name called first, considering I began my campaign running against three good candidates and three well-respected incumbents,” said Koopman.

“It is truly an honour to have the respect and support of our community being a trustee on their behalf.”

As a new board member, he is looking forward to working with parents, teachers, support staff, students and community groups in “building a solid blueprint for educational success.”

“Value, respect and collaboration are the key building blocks to generating effective relationships among trustees and the stakeholders they represent in creating this successful blueprint,” he added.

Koopman believes using the budget in a fiscally prudent manner, while at the same time trying to provide adequate educational programs that are based on reasonable class size and composition, is one of the struggles currently facing the board.

Stewin – the daughter of former trustee Jim Sinclair, who served the district for 30 years – will also be a new face around the board table starting Dec. 9. She is excited to represent the community both as a trustee and councillor for the next four years, pointing out that both positions compliment each other well.

“The school board focuses on education while the local government focuses on the community as a whole,” said Stewin.

“This opportunity to represent the people of Hope at both levels of government helps to create strong relationships and increased understanding as well as multiple networking opportunities in higher forms of government. I realize that being elected to both of these positions will require dedication and determination and I am fully committed to both.”

Stewin is looking forward to being a part of the school district’s growth and bringing to life the strategic plan that’s already in place.

She believes the board’s top priority is to address the current placement of students.

McMullan will be providing continuity on the new board, having been voted in for her third term as trustee. She feels being re-elected shows public confidence in the board, despite the unpopularity of C.E. Barry’s closure.

“We hope that having all the students in a new, up-to-seismic-standards building will mitigate some of the regret at the loss of their school,” she added.

“Fresh voices and ideas are always invigorating, but we will miss the experience and expertise of the members who were with us previously. I am humbled at being chosen once again.”

Moving forward, McMullan feels the board needs to focus on keeping students in the district by developing programs that meet their needs. She said this won’t be an impossible task as the district already has innovative staff and programs in place.

Cindy Ferguson, Ron Johnstone, and Rose Tustian will join the board as Agassiz-Harrison representatives.

In the Canyon electoral area, Tom Hendrickson was voted in by acclamation.

Just Posted

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

HATS invites Hope residents to talk about addiction in the midst of opioid overdose crisis

First talk happening Thursday, Nov. 15 at Blue Moose Coffee House

Chilliwack teen to take on the world after winning Canadian junior dog-handling national championship

Chilliwack’s Kayla Penney is heading to Crufts to compete for her first international title

Country talent Petunia returns to Bozzini’s in Chilliwack Saturday

Petunia, performing Nov. 17, is referred to as ‘The Savior of Country Music’

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

TransLink will immediately suspend work on light rail

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Vancouver Warriors cancel first 2 weeks of season as labour dispute continues

The announcement means games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 will no longer be played

Most Read