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SD62 internal refresh for 2024

amanda dowhy, cendra beaton, sd62
SD62 board has acclaimed Amanda Dowhy as Chair and Cendra Beaton as Vice-Chair, serving to Dec 2024. [SD62]

Wednesday December 20, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

At the Sooke School District SD62 (SD62) December 19 public board meeting, trustee Amanda Dowhy was acclaimed and remained as board chair. She has already served as board chair since earlier this year when that role fell vacant.

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Sooke School District Board of Education and Executive Leadership Team [Sept 28, 2023 / SD62]

Trustee Cendra Beaton was acclaimed as Vice Chair of the Sooke School District Board of Education.

Both Dowhy and Beaton moved up through the SD62 ranks through their activities with the parent advisory council process and sitting on SD62 committees. Beaton also served with Canadian Parents for French.

Finding their places:

Dowhy got her break to become chair as early as fall 2022, when former SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar unofficially lined her up to succeed him during the October 2022 trustee election cycle.

Parmar ran for trustee while fully knowing he would be running as MLA for the Langford-Juan de Fuca by-election in 2023; he also held a spot for Christine Lervold (an unsuccessful 2022 SD62 candidate) who was acclaimed to the board a few months ago (no SD62 by-election).

Serving for one year:

Dowhy and Beaton are first-term trustees who will serve in their chair and vice-chair roles to December 2024. Both positions are for one year as determined at the final public board meeting of each calendar year. 

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SD62 is a large riding — both in terms of geography and student population. In the October 2022 school trustee election cycle Dowhy was elected in the Milne’s Landing Zone (Sooke side of the school district). Beaton was elected in the Belmont Zone (west shore side of the school district).

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The new board has now served for just over a year. The other trustees are: Russ Chipps (Belmont Zone), Christine Lervold (Belmont Zone / by acclamation), Ebony Logins (Milne’s Landing Zone), Trudy Spiller (Belmont Zone), and Allison Watson (Milne’s Landing Zone).

Logins was the previous vice-chair for part of this year.

Forward in 2024:

This feels like a final settling-in of the new board, after all those pre-designed political steps to shape things in a way that will serve SD62 locally and at the provincial level. SD62 will rely on Parmar for influence within the NDP caucus and Ministry of Education and Child Care.

The population of the west shore region (Langford, Colwood and Sooke) continues to grow, and with it the student population of SD62. This puts pressure on school facility space as well as operating budgets.

Executive shift:

SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson retires at December 2023 year-end. Starting January 1, 2024 the new Superintendent will be Paul Block.

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Mary P Brooke, Editor & Publisher of Island Social Trends.

Mary P Brooke is the founder, editor and publisher of Island Social Trends (previously West Shore Voice News and beofre that Sooke Voice News).

Ms Brooke has been covering SD62 news at the board and committee level since 2014. She ran for SD62 school trustee in 2022 (Belmont Zone). In the west shore she now provides community leadership in urban food resilience.

Mary P Brooke now also reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.