Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)

Coburn ousted as vice-chair of Langley school board

The board chose a new vice-chair in a vote at the end of Tuesday’s meeting

Langley’s school board had a sudden change in leadership on Tuesday, as a vote late in the meeting removed Trustee Shelley Coburn as vice-chair and replaced her with Trustee David Tod.

After three hours of presentations and discussions on budget and technology, Trustee Rod Ross brought up the section of the School Act that allows for the election of new chairs and vice chairs on boards of education.

“I’d like to hold an election tonight for the position of vice-chair,” Ross said.

A majority of the board voted to move forward, and Tod, Coburn, as well as Trustees Suzanne Perreault and Marnie Wilson were nominated for the position.

All but Tod declined the nomination, and he was acclaimed. A senior staff member was tearing up notepaper to serve as ballots for a vote before the nominations were declined and the acclamation was declared.

Few trustees mentioned the change during their closing remarks of the meeting.

“What a surprising evening this has turned out to be,” Wilson said. “Obviously some of us are more surprised than others.”

Coburn did not have any comments at the end of the meeting. Dykeman thanked her for her work as vice-chair and welcomed Tod to the role.

“I don’t know what happened, so you would have to ask the other board members,” Coburn told the Langley Advance Times later in the week.

She said she did not know in advance there would be a motion to pick a new vice-chair.

“I would prefer not to have it done that way,” she said. “It’s politics. It is what it is.”

Coburn said she was elected to serve the public and do a job, and she would continue to do that.

Ross told the Langley Advance Times that the vote was not personal.

“It’s been a longstanding rule of mine to train as many people in leadership as possible,” he said, and said he has been public about his views with other trustees.

He compared it to municipal councils, where the position of deputy mayor is rotated to different councillors on a regular basis.

Unlike councils, however, school boards vote on their own chair and vice chair at the start of each term.

Ross said he wanted to give more trustees the opportunity to take on leadership, and said he would likely move for another change in the vice-chair position in about a year.

Coburn has held the vice chair position about a year and a half, since the election in the fall of 2018.

An official statement from Chair Megan Dykeman was released the day after the meeting.

“The Board of Education thanks former Vice-Chair Shelley Coburn for her time and hard work as Vice-Chair, and for her ongoing service to the Langley School District as a trustee,” it said. “The Board appreciates her dedication to the students of our District.”

EducationLangleymunicipal politicsSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dancing and cheering together, apart

How Xtreme Cheer & Dance in Langley is handling the COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health stops hospital television set service to limit COVID-19 spread

Dr. Victoria Lee said personal mobile devices can still be used by patients at this time

VIDEO: Langley Advance Times launches Workout Wednesday with Brand Fitness

Starting April 8 local fitness trainer will lead weekly workout session

Langley School District Foundation asking for donations to feed hungry students

Organization has put out call to businesses to sponsor gift cards in wake of COVID school closures

Langley ER nurses, doctors pay it forward to local students

The ER is donating to help feed Langley kids in need

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read