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. The Board of Education held its last meeting of the year on December 12, 2017 when it elected Mark Gifford Chair of the Board and Kelly Slade-Kerr Vice-Chair.
Our Board Members
Mark Gifford was elected Chair December 12, 2017 and is serving his third year as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools. Trustee Gifford is the Board Representative to the British Columbia Public Schools Employers’ Association (BCPSEA); and is school trustee liaison to École Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School, New Westminster Secondary School, and the Aboriginal Education Program.
Kelly Slade-Kerr was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Education on December 12, 2017. Kelly is an employment lawyer serving her third year as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools. She is also serving as the Board’s school trustee liaison to Lord Kelvin Elementary School and is the board representative on the CUPE Labour/Management committee, as well as on the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee.
Jonina Campbell was re-elected as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools for a second term and as Chair for the 2016 calendar year until October when she resigned to run as a candidate in the 2017 provincial election. She remains on the Board of Education as a Trustee.
Trustee Campbell is the Board’s school trustee liaison to F.W. Howay Elementary School. She represents the Board on the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee.
Casey Cook is serving his fourth term as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools.
Trustee Cook is the school trustee liaison to Fraser River Middle School and Queensborough Middle School.
Michael Ewen is serving his 38th year as a School Trustee and has the distinction of being the longest-serving trustee in the province. Trustee Ewen is the Chair of the Education Policy and Planning Committee and the Board’s Alternate Representative on the BC School Trustees’ Association (BCSTA) Provincial Council. Trustee Ewen is the Board’s school trustee liaison to Connaught Heights and École Herbert Spencer Elementary Schools.
James Janzen was born and raised in New Westminster and is currently serving his ninth 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 Operations Policy and Planning Committee and school trustee liaison to École Qayqayt and Richard McBride Elementary Schools, as well as to the New Westminster chapter of Canadian Parents for French (BC & Yukon).
Mary Lalji was sworn in as School Trustee on June 21, 2016. She is the school trustee liaison to École Glenbrook Middle School, Queen Elizabeth Elementary School and the Home Learners Program at Hume Park as well as the alternate representative to the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association.