Trustee Laura Dixon was acclaimed as the new chair of the Delta Board of Education Tuesday night, taking over from Dale Saip, who spent the past four years at the position.
Dixon has served as a trustee on the board for the past four years, and admitted providing public education across three geographically, socially, and culturally distinct communities presents some challenges.
But in the end, families in Ladner, Tsawwassen, and North Delta all want the same thing.
“We all want good schools, and we all want our children to succeed,” she said. “There’s more that makes us similar than makes us different”
Dixon said infrastructure and transportation issues loom largest for the district in the year ahead.
Due to changes to the provincial government’s transportation allowance, the School District No. 37 may see fewer dollars for bussing.
And while the the district has seen school enrollment fall for nearly a decade, that trend is starting to slow, and may soon reverse.
“It’s starting to plateau,” Dixon said. “But that brings its own challenges, as we try to find capacity in areas of development.”
It’s also not clear how school districts are going to pay for provincially mandated increases to the Teacher Pension Plan.
While her fellow trustees bring a diverse array of political ideologies to the table, Dixon said an atmosphere of mutual respect and the ability to put what’s best for Delta students first and foremost allows the trustees to work together effectively.
Outgoing chair Saip said the district is in good hands with Dixon at the reins.
“I’m really happy for Laura… She’s going to do a great job leading this district,” he said.
Saip will serve as the board’s vice-chair, while trustee Val Windsor was named B.C. School Trustees’ Association provincial council representative. Donna Burke was named the board’s representative to the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.