Our Board - Board Members
About Our Board
The Board of Education, in accordance with the School Act, is a policy-making body whose primary function is to establish procedures and guidelines for the operation of public schools. Local boards of education are responsible for producing a budget, administering expenditures, and liaising with individual schools through the School Trustee Liaison Program, as well as for several basic functions including:
- Policy, Planning and Evaluation
- Action on Legal Requirements
- Selection of Senior Personnel
- Public Relations
Members of the Board of Education for New Westminster Schools were elected in November 2014 for a 4-year term. On June 11, 2016 a by-election was held and Mary Lalji, the successful candidate, was sworn in as School Trustee on June 21, 2016. On November 29, 2016, Kelly Slade-Kerr was elected chair by acclamation, and Trustee Mark Gifford was voted Vice-Chair during the board’s annual elections.
Our Board Members
Kelly Slade-Kerr was elected Chair of the Board of Education on November 29, 2016. Kelly is an employment lawyer serving her second year as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools. She is also serving as the Board’s liaison to Lord Kelvin Elementary School.
Mark Gifford was elected Vice-Chair November 29, 2016 and is serving his second year as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools. Mark is currently employed as Director, Grants & Community Initiatives, at Vancouver Foundation and has spent the past 20 years developing partnerships, programs and policies that strengthen communities.
Trustee Gifford is the Chair of the Board’s Education Policy and Planning Committee; Board Representative to the British Columbia Public Schools Employers’ Association (BCPSEA); and is Trustee liaison to FW Howay and Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary Schools, the POWER Program, and the Aboriginal Education Program.
Jonina Campbell was re-elected as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools for a 2nd term and as Chairperson for the 2016 calendar year. At the October 25, 2016 Open Board Meeting, Chair Campbell submitted her letter of resignation as Board Chair but remains on the Board of Education as a Trustee.
Trustee Campbell is the Board’s liaison to New Westminster Secondary School, a member of the Teaching & Learning in Diverse Classrooms Committee, and represents the Board on the District Parent Advisory Committee (DPAC).
Casey Cook is serving his 3rd term as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools.
Trustee Cook is Chair of the Neighbourhoods of Learning Advisory Committee and the Trustee liaison to Fraser River Middle School and Queensborough Middle School.
Michael Ewen is serving his 37th year as a School Trustee and has the distinction of being the longest-serving trustee in the province. Trustee Ewen is the Board’s Alternate Representative on the BC School Trustees’ Association (BCSTA) Provincial Council.
Trustee Ewen is the Board’s Liaison to Connaught Heights and Herbert Spencer Elementary Schools, the Montessori Program, RCAP and Access New West Virtual School.
James Janzen was born and raised in New Westminster and is currently serving his eighth term as School Trustee on the Board of Education for New Westminster Schools. Trustee Janzen is the Board’s Representative on the BC School Trustees’ Association (BCSTA) Provincial Council.
Trustee Janzen is Chair of the Board’s Operations Policy and Planning Committeep; Trustee liaison to Ecole Qayqayt and Richard McBride Elementary Schools, the Adult Learning Centre and to the French Immersion Programs of Choice.
Mary Lalji is serving her first term as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools.
Trustee Lalji was the successful candidate to fill the seat vacated by former Trustee Mortensen and was sworn in as School Trustee on June 21, 2016. Trustee Lalji is the Trustee Liaison to Glenbrook Middle school, Queen Elizabth Elementary School and the Home Learners Program.