The Cowichan Valley District’s board chair, Candace Spilsbury, will remain at the helm, following her acclamation Nov. 3 at an open board meeting. The reinstatement means Spilsbury will continue to guide the Board of Education for another year, as she has done so eight other times.
The sitting president of the Vancouver Island School Trustees Association, Spilsbury is in her fourth four-year term as a school trustee. Executive positions are voted on annually.
In Spilsbury’s time as chair, the district has seen many successes including launching of the new strategic plan – ‘Beyond Education’, the announcement of a new Cowichan Secondary School, the recent development and launch of a new logo, as well as having to navigate the uncertain times that COVID-19 has brought.
The Board has also appointed the province’s first full-time District Elder and Knowledge Keeper, Dolly Sylvester, and has refocused efforts to bring mental health, inclusion, and Indigenous understandings into professional development, and successfully increased childcare spaces and early learning opportunities in the district.
“This year has presented challenges like no other,” Spilsbury noted. “COVID-19 made us refocus efforts both within and beyond our schools. We have had to be agile, compassionate, and understanding in the ways in which we approach every day. I am extremely proud of the work our Board has done, and thankful for our community partners who support us in our important work.”
Also acclaimed at Tuesday’s meeting was vice chair Barbara de Groot, who, along with Spilsbury, is in her fourth four-year term as a school trustee and ninth as vice chair.