Trio of new trustees elected to Langley Board of Education

Coburn, Wallace and Tod will have to hit the ground running, says re-elected trustee, Rob McFarlane

The Langley Board of Education has three new faces around the table and no time for those new trustees to settle into their new role, said re-elected City trustee Rob McFarlane.

“I’m really pleased and excited to be re-elected,” said McFarlane. “We have accomplished an awful lot, but it is interesting times right out of the gate.”

He has been acting chair for the last couple of months, as Wendy Johnson took leave. She did not seek re-election.

McFarlane received 2,182 votes in the City and was elected alongside newcomer Shelley Coburn, with 2,144 votes. Incumbent Candy Ashdown was not re-elected. She received 1,728 votes.

“Right out of the gate we are starting our consultation process with the public about what is going to happen in the Willoughby slope and we also have to finalize what we are going to ask of the province in terms of wanting a new high school,” said McFarlane.

This leaves little time for new trustees to get used a role that ‘takes a while to get used to.’

“But this (figuring out what to do with the overpopulation of Willoughby schools) is a huge project that will impact the whole district so I’m really hoping we get the community engaged in this.”

He’s impressed and ‘optimistic’ with the dynamics of the new board.

In the Township, incumbent Alison McVeigh topped the polls, with 8,523 votes, followed by two other incumbents, Rod Ross, 8,027, and Megan Dykeman, 7,810.

Newcomer David Tod, a teacher in Abbotsford, was fourth in votes with 7,749 followed by Rosemary Wallace with 7,148. Wallace is switching over from Langley City politics to education.

“I was so nervous on Saturday,” said Wallace of her win.

“There were a lot of really good candidates who had a lot of passion for education. I think it’s a good message to the incumbents who were re-elected that they can’t just sit back. There is a lot of new energy and drive to get things done,” said Wallace.

She was disappointed Ashdown wasn’t re-elected, as she works tirelessly behind the scenes. Johnson was a big support for Wallace during the campaign.

“My whole goal moving forward is making sure kids don’t fall through the cracks,” she said. While the Willoughby issues will be front and centre, she wants to make sure kids aren’t forgotten in the process.

“Whenever their is change and growth, we can lose sight of the main reason we are here and that’s for the kids,” said Wallace.

“I don’t want to see kids having to bus long distances and for teenagers, they are going through a lot emotionally. I don’t want to see waiting lists to see counsellors.”

Unsuccessful candidates in the Township were Lorraine Baldwin, 6,362; Suzanne Perreault, 5,718; Lisa Moore, 5,070; Kristine Ketter, 4,548; Trudy Handel, 3,663; Pamala-Rose Combs, 2,398 and Lawrence Chen, 2,218.

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