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Langley school board censures McVeigh

Veteran trustee disciplined for revealing superintendent was fired
Alison McVeigh

The Langley board of education has censured Trustee Alison McVeigh for releasing confidential information from an in-camera meeting of the board of trustees.

At an in-camera meeting on Tuesday (Jan .31), trustees voted to discipline McVeigh who spoke out after superintendent Cheryle Beaumont was fired in January.

In a terse press release issued on Jan. 17, the board announced that Beaumont was leaving the district " to pursue other ventures."

McVeigh's in-camera transgression was to reveal that in a 5-2 vote, Beaumont was actually sacked.

While she said that she respected the decision of the board because it showed democracy at work, McVeigh called it "terrible."

She told The Times: "Cheryle Beaumont would not have up and left the district. She did an outstanding job."

McVeigh pointed out that under Beaumont, the graduation rate and levels of literacy, transition (to higher education) and aboriginal programs were never higher.

She predicted that it would cost taxpayers "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in compensation to Beaumont.

Responding to the censure, McVeigh said that she was not surprised and that it is her intention to continue to focus on Langley students and move on.

Board chairman Wendy Johnson was asked how the board arrived at its decision to censure McVeigh.

"I can't comment," she said. "(If I do) I'm doing what she did."

With a board that is still divided, Johnson was asked how she could lead trustees to the point where it can function effectively.

She replied: "Trustee McVeigh has indicated that she is prepared to move on and leave this behind, and I would say the same thing. I think we have dealt with this and we're prepared to move on as well in the interest of the educational needs of all of our students in Langley."

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