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 2018 for a 4-year term. They are Anita Ansari, Dee Beattie, Danielle Connelly, Gurveen Dhaliwal, Mark Gifford, Mary Lalji (currently on leave) and Maya Russell. The Board of Education held its inaugural meeting November 6, 2018 and elected Mark Gifford Chair of the Board and Anita Ansari Vice-Chair.
The board welcomes communications from the public. Please email us at Board of Education.
Mark Gifford, Board Chair
Mark Gifford is serving his fifth year as School Trustee for New Westminster Schools. He represents New Westminster Schools on the Memorialization Advisory Committee and the Sanctuary Schools Committee, and is school trustee liaison for Richard McBride Elementary and Connaught Heights Elementary Schools.
Anita Ansari, Board Vice-Chair
Anita Ansari is serving her first year as School Trustee and was elected Vice-Chair at the Board of Education’s inaugural meeting in November 2018. She is school trustee liaison to École Qayqayt Elementary and F.W. Howay Elementary Schools and serves on the SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Committee.
Trustee Dee Beattie is serving her first term as school trustee with New Westminster Schools and is trustee liaison to both Lord Kelvin Elementary School and École Glenbrook Middle School. She sits on the school district’s Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee and serves as Board Representative to the BC Public School Employers’ Association and Alternate Representative to the BC School Trustees’ Association.
Trustee Danielle Connelly was elected to the Board of Education for her first term in November 2018 and is serving as Chair of the Board of Education Operations Policy and Planning Committee as well as the Board Representative to the BC School Trustees’ Association (BCSTA) Provincial Council. She is school trustee liaison for École Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School and Fraser River Middle School.
Trustee Gurveen Dhaliwal is serving her first term with New Westminster Schools and is Chair of the Board’s Education Policy and Planning Committee. She is school trustee liaison to École Herbert Spencer Elementary School, Queen Elizabeth Elementary School and Queensborough Middle School. She also serves on the school district’s SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Committee and is the Board’s Alternate Representative to the BC Public School Employers’ Association.
Trustee Mary Lalji is serving her third year as School Trustee after being elected to the New Westminster Schools Board of Education in 2016. She is currently on leave.
Trustee Maya Russell is serving her first term as School Trustee with New Westminster Schools. She is the school liaison to New Westminster Secondary School (NWSS), Home Learners Program at Hume Park, the Sigma Program at NWSS, Royal City Alternate Program, Power Alternate Secondary School and New West Adult and Online Learning.