The board of education of the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division selected Barry Hollick to return as board chair at their organizational meeting on Monday. Hollick was pleased to see a mix of new faces and returning faces after the election on Nov. 9.
New faces on the board included Cher Bloom who was elected in the Shellbrook rural subdivision and Alan Nunn who were newly elected in the city.
“We have two new faces, which we certainly welcome and we think they will certainly make contributions for us as well,” Hollick said.
He explained that the board was functioning well on provincial and local initiatives but new perspectives are always beneficial.
“I am looking forward to another successful term with this board and I believe that is what is going to occur,” Hollick said.
With two new trustees the board of education helps them adapt with a mentorship program. Hollick will be mentoring Nunn and Big River rural trustee Bill Gerow will be mentoring Bloom.
“So what we do is we have a trustee assigned to them so they can basically fill them in on things that those people aren’t used to. It gives them an opportunity to ask questions of someone instead of waiting for a board meeting. It usually develops into a pretty good partnership,” Hollick said.
Nunn has experience as a superintendent in the division and Bloom is brand new to the board.
“(Nunn) will look at education though a different lens as a trustee,” Hollick said.
He explained that Gerow and Bloom are in similar areas of the division and Gerow will be able to offer perspective as a member of various committees.
“They may travel the same highways together coming to meetings and things like that. He will be a very good mentor for Cher,” Hollick said.
The new trustees will also be part of an orientation through the SSBA.
“Everything is going to be very helpful to them and we added this idea of mentorship just to give them more information about local things that we do, committee work and some of the initiatives that we as a board take on,” Hollick said.
The board of education is also now a full 10 trustees. The last term was finished short one city trustee after the passing of George McHenry. Hollick said that increased the workload for the other nine. For example the trustees in city had extra schools assigned in the school clusters for each trustee. Each trustee has been assigned three schools.
Hollick noted that it will be interesting to see the perspective of the new Minister of Education Dustin Duncan replacing Gord Wyant after the Cabinet shuffle on Nov. 9. There was also a new deputy minister assigned to the department.
“We are hoping to hear from the new minister to see what his vision is for education and if there is going to be continuity in the way things have been handled by them during the pandemic,” Hollick said.
“We were surprised that both of the top people were replaced so we are certainly looking forward to hearing from them,” he added.