Cornerstone school board holds first meeting since election

Four new faces were present around the conference table in the South East Cornerstone Public School Division's head office on Nov. 18.

Eric McCrimmon, Tami Scott, Jennifer Wilkinson and Norma Hewitt-Lendrum took their rightful places at the table, having been declared elected or acclaimed in the Nov. 9 election process.

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McCrimmon joins Kevin Keating as a representative for the city of Estevan. He had submitted his nomination papers early in the nomination period and ran unopposed. Keating, who had been a Subdivision 4 (Alameda, Lampman, Oxbow, Bienfait) representative previously, and who is now residing in Estevan, took the other Estevan seat by acclamation.

The Subdivision 4 position Keating vacated is now filled by Tami Scott, who also ran unopposed.

The Subdivision 6 seat (Gladmar, Oungre, Pangman, Ogema, Radville, Yellow Grass) is now filled by Wilkinson. She also won the position through acclamation, taking over for Elwood White who retired from the board.

The only sector that required a vote of electors was in Weyburn where incumbents Melanie Sorenson and Brandon Tichkowsky were challenged by Hewitt-Lendrum. Sorenson captured the majority of the Weyburn votes followed by Hewitt-Lendrum who narrowly outpolled Tichkowsky for the second seat.

The only other shuffle around the table involved former Estevan representative Jim Vermeersch taking on the Subdivision 2 duties from the retiring Harold Laich. This subdivision serves the area around Arcola, Carlyle, Manor and Wawota, and it’s now where Vermeersch resides. He had declared earlier he felt it only right to relinquish the Estevan position in light of his residency change. He too, was unopposed.

That move, along with the retirement of Shari Sutter as the second Estevan representative, left the two Estevan seats up for grabs and subsequently filled by Keating and McCrimmon.

Other board members were returned to office by acclamation and they included: Carol Flynn in Subdivision 1 (Moosomin, Rocanville, Wapella); Jim Henderson in Subdivision 3 (Carievale, Carnduff, Redvers) and Audrey Trombley in Subdivision 5 (Fillmore, Stoughton, Midale, Macoun).

The newly selected members now undergo a short series of orientation sessions that will assist them as they get more comfortable with the process of governing a wide-ranging school division with a wide range of policies and procedures. The division provides Kindergarten to Grade 12 public education services to over 8,300 students.    

The newly selected members now undergo a short series of orientation sessions that will assist them as they get more comfortable with the process of governing a wide-ranging school division with a wide range of policies and procedures. The division provides Kindergarten to Grade 12 public education services to over 8,300 students

Cornerstone also held its annual organizational meeting, and sent veteran chairwoman Trombley back into the board leadership role for a fifth time while Carol Flynn, another veteran governance performer was returned as vice-chairwoman, also a familiar role for her.  Both were unopposed in the nomination process.

The organizational session that was held in parallel with the regular monthly public business session, took less than a half-hour as six returning board members and four newcomers, voted in favour of not changing any of their compensation packages while agreeing to serve on a variety of sub-committee assignments for the next year.

In accepting the chair’s role, Trombley said “I enjoy the work and enjoy working with the board, so thank you.”

The indemnity rates that remained unchanged, sees board members paid $250 for attendance at school board related sessions of five hours or more or $125 for sessions that are four hours or less in duration and/or conference call sessions.  Additional monthly stipends of $200 are awarded for preparation work and the chairperson receives an added monthly stipend to acknowledge the extra workload placed before the person holding that position.

Compensation for hotel accommodations, travel expenses and meals remained unchanged.

During the organizational meeting, assignments were accepted to serve on a variety of committees including audit and budget, Saskatchewan School Boards Association and Athletic Association representation, governance/human resources, bargaining observers, and signing authorities.

The session also established the meeting dates and times for the next academic year.

Flynn was an obvious selection for the Saskatchewan School Board Association’s seat since she currently serves as that body’s vice-president for the public education sector.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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