British Columbia

Election brings new school trustees for North Okanagan-Shuswap after last board fired by province

After two-and-a-half years, the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District has a board of elected trustees. The previous board was dismissed en masse by the province in 2016 over what it termed financial troubles and a loss of public confidence.

Marianne VanBuskirk, Marty Gibbons, Amanda Krebs, Quentin Bruns Tennile Lachmuth are district's new trustees

All of the members of the North Okanagan-Shuswap school board were dismissed and replaced with a trustee in 2016. (Hadrian/Shutterstock)

After two-and-a-half years, the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district has a board of elected trustees.

The previous board was dismissed en masse by the province in 2016 over what it termed financial troubles and a loss of public confidence. A former school district superintendent was appointed as the official trustee for School District 83.

Saturday's municipal elections saw five new trustees elected or acclaimed, including Marianne VanBuskirk of Salmon Arm.

"I feel very confident now that some … new goals have been made and I really look forward to the new challenge," VanBuskirk told Radio West host Sarah Penton.

"I think the school district has been diligent in keeping up to the standards of what it takes to be a fantastic school district. I have no question about stepping in."

The 2016 dismissals followed the release of a report saying the board transferred $10 million from its operating surplus funds to pay for projects such as the construction of a new school district office.

It also said the board lacked the skills for operational oversight. There was no financial expertise, trust among trustees was lacking, as was the perceived transparency.

VanBuskirk said the new board's priorities will be supporting students and staff, finding efficiencies and promoting health and wellness.

Also elected or acclaimed to the board were Marty Gibbons, Amanda Krebs, Quentin Bruns and Tennile Lachmuth.

Listen to the full interview:

After two-and-a-half years, the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district has a board of elected trustees. The previous board was dismissed en masse by the province over what it termed financial troubles and a loss of public confidence in 2016. 7:26

With files from CBC Radio One's Radio West

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