Okanagan-Skaha school board chair wins by acclamation

Despite a year of tough decisions as a school board chair, Linda Van Alphen has accepted the position for another term.

Okanagan Skaha School board chair Linda Van Alphen at a press conference in June. Van Alphen and trustee Bill Bidlake will continue in their respective positions of chair and vice-chair of the board.

Despite a year of tough decisions as school board chair, Linda Van Alphen has accepted the position for another term.

Shelley Clarke nominated Van Alphen and trustee Bill Bidlake as chair and vice-chair of the Okanagan Skaha School District at their meeting Monday evening. With no one running against them, and unanimous consent, the pair won by acclamation.

“I can’t imagine that this could possibly come near to being as difficult as last year was,” said Van Alphen. “I have always wanted to be part of a formal strategic planning process and I just believe I want to be chair for this year and I believe in having a really good strategic plan to take this district forward.”

After months of meetings with parents during the last school year regarding school closures, provincial funding came through in the last hour to save two of the three that were on the chopping block. With less than 24 hours to go before the end of the school year, the district received word that funding was approved for both West Bench Elementary and Trout Creek Elementary.

Read more: Trout Creek and West Bench schools remain open

Van Alphen said now is the time for trustees to attend to the business that may have been pushed aside last year.

Read more: Eleventh hour funding to save Summerland school

“I also think it is time that we caught up to all of the things that I know that everyone was doing everything off the sides of their desks, including the trustees, and it is time that all of us catch up to doing the work that we are supposed to be doing which is providing educational opportunities to the students in this district,” said Van Alphen.