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New SD43 board of education on the clock following inauguration

Bagpipes ushered in the nine trustees, including seven incumbents that won another term in the 2022 civic election.

A new term has officially begun for School District 43 (SD43) with a horseshoe of familiar faces.

The district's next four-year board of education was sworn in Wednesday night (Nov. 9) at its inaugural meeting set to establishing the needs, goals and policies of Tri-Cities schools.

This includes approving the annual budget, SD43 explained in a statement, as well as maintaining accountability with the B.C. government.

Grade 10 bagpiper Colin Richdale led the procession into the trustees' chamber at the Education Learning Centre in Coquitlam (1080 Winslow Ave.), followed by RCMP in Red Serge.

They were also welcomed with a speech by kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation Chief Ed Hall before several dozen public officials and community members in attendance.

Judge Lee presided over the oath of office with each school trustee as part of the ceremony.

The board then re-elected Michael Thomas to continue serving as SD43's board chair, as well as Craig Woods as the vice-chair, for the first year of the new term.

Thomas and Woods were two of seven trustees either acclaimed or voted back to their position following the 2022 civic election on Oct. 15.

Thomas and Christine Pollock automatically won another four-year term for Port Coquitlam after no challengers came forward by the nomination deadline — Sept. 9 at 4 p.m.

This was the same circumstance for Kerri Palmer Isaak, who represents the villages of Anmore and Belcarra.

Chuck Dension (Coquitlam) and Zoe Royer (Port Moody) are the newcomers around the SD43 table, but are well-known in for their previous work.

This will be Denison's second term in three elections having previously served between 2014 and 2018, while Royer switched her focus to education for all after three terms with Port Moody city council.

Incumbent candidates that earned back their jobs included Woods, Jennifer Blatherwick (Coquitlam), Carol Cahoon (Coquitlam) and Lisa Park (Port Moody).

SD43 superintendent Patricia Gartland and secretary treasurer Mohammed Azim were also part of the procession and took their places in the chamber next to the trustees.

As well, SD43 students serenaded the new board and the audience with a quartet classical music performance, consisting of the clarinet, saxophone, bassoon and flute.

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