THE Burnaby Board of Education held its inaugural public board meeting on Tuesday, December 9 at Burnaby Central Secondary. The seven trustees-elect, Ron Burton, Katrina Chen, Meiling Chia, Larry Hayes, Baljinder Narang, Harman Pandher, and Gary Wong, were sworn into office by the Judge Pedro de Couto. The Board then nominated and acclaimed Burton as Chair and Pandher as Vice Chair.
Narang was elected as district representative to the Provincial Council of the BC School Trustees’ Association (BCSTA). Chia was elected as the alternate representative to the BCSTA Provincial Council.
Burton, acknowledged the significant contributions of departing trustee, James Wang, who is now a Burnaby City Councillor. He also recognized the hard work and dedication of Narang who has represented the Board as Chair for the past two years. He welcomed back incumbent trustees Chia, Hayes, Pandher and Wong and introduced new trustee Chen.
Burton is one of the longest serving trustees in the province. This is his tenth term and he was first elected in 1987, when the Burnaby School District included 45 schools and enrolled 17,000 students who spoke 40 different languages at home. Today, there are 49 schools, an enrolment of 24,000 students and more than 70 different languages spoken at home. In his inaugural Board Chair Report, he reflected on the highlights of the last three-year board term and looked at the new four-year term ahead.
“Every learner is unique. We are proud of the work we have done to support programs that best meet the needs of each learner, while being fiscally responsible,” Burton said. “We look forward to continuing to work with our staff, partners and community so that each learner has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”