On November 26, 2012 the Board held two meetings. The first meeting of the night was the Annual meeting where the Board Chair, Vice Chair and NSSBA representative were all appointed.
Mr. Lorne Green was re-appointed as Board Chair. Chair Lorne Green was first appointed as Board Chair in November, 2007 and has served as Chair for four years. He was first elected to the Board as the African Nova Scotian representative in October, 2004. He once served as Councillor in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. He is also the first African Nova Scotian elected as Board Chair in the province of Nova Scotia.
Chair Lorne Green thanked his fellow board members and staff for their support over the years and renewed confidence in his leadership ability. He noted during past years they have been both challenging and rewarding for the Board. Commissioner Green encouraged all board members to engage in respectful deliberation. He noted during the last couple of years that the Board faced many challenges and he encouraged the Board to work as a unified body to ensure the best education for the students entrusted in the Board’s care.
Appointed as Vice Chair was Commissioner Darren Googoo. Commissioner Googoo will be serving his first appointment as Vice Chair. Commissioner Googoo was firstly; appointed as the First Nation Representative. He has served as a Board member since October, 2007. He currently sits on the Council for Mi’Kmaq Education in the Province of Nova Scotia, the Astral Zeneca National Youth Advisory Board, the Mi’Kmaq College advisory Board, the Purdy Crawford National Advisory Board and is the chair of the Membertou Agency.
Commissioner Barb Mercer was appointed as the Nova Scotia School Board Association representative for the Board. Commissioner Mercer has served on the Board for four years.
Superintendent White noted his appreciation for the diligent work ethic, courtesy and cooperation that both he and staff have received from our Board. He welcomed the new Board members and looks forward to working with the Board for betterment of our students and staff.
This meeting was followed by the Regular Board meeting. Correspondence was read by Superintendent White with regards to a visit by the Minister of Education along with her fellow associates to be held on Monday, January 28, 2012.
Following the reading of the correspondence Mr. White provided his report. Superintendent White welcomed all board members who were sworn in November 5th: Stewart Matheson, Joyce Lind, Jack Toomey, John Berk, and Yvonne Kennedy join the eleven returning members for the next four years. He noted that he looks forward to working with the new Board Members as well as our returning members. He further noted that it is a good time to renew Board goals and initiatives as we begin this four year journey together. He stated that we will work collaboratively and responsibility for all students of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. There were two orientation sessions held for members this month. One was done by staff and Alan Lowe from the DOE and the other was a provincial NSSBA workshop. (copies of the full report can be found on the Board website).
New elected Board Chair Lorne Green advised that he had not prepared a written report however he noted that he is very proud of our Board and the commitment our Board has to the students of our Board. He requested that the Board get involved, participate, respectful deliberations and that we are all here for the betterment of the students.
During the Education Committee report the Board approved the Respectful Learning and Working Environment Policy.
Additions to the agenda were brought forward by Commissioner Matheson. He wished to discuss the issue of cell phone usage during meetings. He noted that this can be distracting and is very disrespectful of others who are attending these meetings. A motion was made however it was defeated and the Board agreed to discuss this issue further at the committee level. Another issue discussed was the suggestion of returning to rotating the meetings in various communities throughout the Board. It was noted that in the past the Board had poor attendance and it became more convenient for both the Board, staff and communities if the meetings were rotated from the Northside to the Southside yearly. This rotation also provided clarity to those who were dedicated to attending knowing the meetings were held in the same place throughout the year.
Commissioner Matheson would like to see ten minutes dedicated to students during our public Board meetings. It was agreed that on the agenda under delegations students would be provided the opportunity to present on positive events occurring at their schools. Positive school events such as school trips, Remembrance Day ceremonies, Education Week, etc.
Commissioner Tilley made a motion for the newly elected Board to form a committee entitled Board/CUPE Committee. The structure of this committee would be similar to that of the Board/Teacher Committee. It was further noted that issues which are contractual would not be discussed at this level.
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