Know about school boards elections in North Shore

Published: The Global Canadian (pdf)
October 1, 2018
456 words

When the current school boards were elected in 2014,  Christy Clark was Premier, and the Supreme Court of Canada had not yet decided that class size and composition needed to be returned to the bargaining table. That court decision in November 2016 and the election of the John Horgan government in May of 2017 brought dramatic changes to BC school districts.

At the same time the North Vancouver School District was spending nearly $200,000 to try and resolve inter-personal issues among Board members that were alleged to include bullying and sexual harassment.

As electors head to the polls this month they’ll be choosing from candidates that will hopefully avoid such drama, and focus more on the day to day governance of the local school system.  Outgoing North Vancouver school board member Barry Forward summed up the priorities for the new board. “The big one will be the the Ministry of Education funding formula. The last time that (it) changed North Vancouver lost money.  In March discussion starts about the new collective bargaining agreement with teachers.  And the implementation of the class size and composition changes is still ongoing.”

The North Vancouver School District is home to around 15,000 students, and has a budget that will likely exceed $180 million next year. North Vancouver District voters will choose from eight names to fill four positions. The slate includes only one incumbent, Cyndi Gerlach. Newcomers include:
Devon Bruce, a Special Education worker
Behl Evangelista, a retired school custodian
Norman Farrell, a retired accountant and local political blogger
Edna Ligale, an “Urban Planner turned matchmaker and relationship specialist”
Kulvir Mann, a very active Mom and PAC member
George Tsiakos, head of the UBC Law Library and Adjunct Professor at the Allard School of Law
and Cam Small.

The City of North Vancouver has ten candidates running to fill three seats. All three incumbents are running again: Chair Christie Sacre, and Board members Megan Higgins and Susan Skinner.
Running against them are:
Jullian Kolstee, actor, improvisor, instructor and Carson Graham Grad
Gordon Moore, local retiree
Catherine Pope, former Global TV reporter and Braemar PAC member
Mary Tasi Baker, Urban Planning professional and former North Vancouver school trustee
Kamy Teymourian, project manager and Board member with the Canadian Iranian Foundation
Greg Zavediuk, high school teacher and counsellor
and Sean Ewing,

West Vancouver’s School Board serves around 7,300 students, including about 520 international students, and about 1,200 who travel from outside the municipality. They have an operating budget of $73 million. West Vancouver has seven candidates vying to fill five positions. Incumbent Board members Carolyn Broady, NicoleBrown, Sheelah Donahue, Pieter Dorsman and Dave Stephenson are being challenged by teacher and administrator Lynn Block and former École Pauline Johnson PAC chair Charlotte Burns.