ETSB elects new com­mit­tee chairs

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Matthew Mccully

Dur­ing Tues­day’s East­ern Town­ships School Board (ETSB) coun­cil of com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing, the chairs of the var­i­ous ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees were elected; in most cases, the com­mis­sioner al­ready hold­ing the po­si­tion con­tin­ued for a new man­date.

The meet­ing also in­cluded a pre­sen­ta­tion of the au­di­tor’s re­port, per­formed an­nu­ally by an in­de­pen­dent ac­count­ing firm.

The re­port stated that the ETSB’S ac­count­ing for the year is clean, with no re­serves or com­ments.

The to­tal rev­enue recorded was $80,584,990.00. The to­tal ex­pen­di­tures were $79,922,882.00, re­sult­ing in a sur­plus of roughly $662,000.

The board car­ries an ac­cu­mu­lated deficit or around $3 mil­lion, down from $3.7 mil­lion last year, thanks to the cur­rent sur­plus.

Fol­low­ing the au­di­tor’s re­port, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Éric Camp­bell was named pres­i­dent of elec­tions for the pur­pose of de­cid­ing the chairs of the board’s ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees.

Each com­mis­sioner is ex­pected to be a mem­ber of at least two ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees. The chairs of those com­mit­tees

re­port their rec­om­men­da­tions to the ex­ec­u­tive.

The process re­quired few votes. Gor­don Bar­nett was the only com­mis­sioner nom­i­nated as chair of the Gov­er­nance and Ethics Com­mit­tee; he ac­cepted and was awarded the po­si­tion.

Joy Hu­menuik was the only nom­i­nee for chair of the Au­dit com­mit­tee; she ac­cepted the po­si­tion.

Richard Gagnon was the only nom­i­nee for the Ed­u­ca­tion Ser­vices Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee; he ac­cepted the po­si­tion.

Dan Brodie was the only com­mis­sioner nom­i­nated to chair the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mit­tee and ac­cepted the po­si­tion.

Both Frank Mac­gre­gor and Claire Beaubien were nom­i­nated to chair the Hu­man Re­sources com­mit­tee. Mac­gre­gor de­clined the nom­i­na­tion, and Beaubien was named Chair.

Three com­mis­sion­ers, Gary Hol­i­day, Mary Kirby and par­ent com­mis­sioner Mary Gil­man were nom­i­nated for the Trans­porta­tion com­mit­tee, which re­quires two com­mis­sion­ers.

Mary Kirby de­clined her nom­i­na­tion. Be­tween Hol­i­day and Gil­man, Hol­i­day was elected to serve as the com­mis­sioner who will rep­re­sent Trans­porta­tion at the Ex­ec­u­tive.

Ken Water­house and Mary Gil­man, the only par­ent com­mis­sion­ers in at­ten­dance at Tues­day’s meet­ing, were elected as par­ent rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee.

An ap­peal com­mit­tee was also formed, which holds a one-year-term.

Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Camp­bell pointed out that in the last five years, the Ap­peal Com­mit­tee was only called upon one time for a rec­om­men­da­tion.

This year’s com­mit­tee will in­clude Jonathan Mur­ray, Mary Kirby and Gor­don Bar­nett, par­ent com­mis­sioner Mary Gil­man and al­ter­nates Alice Mc­crory, Gor­don Hol­i­day and Ken Water­house.

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Christian Provencher’s re­port was brief, draw­ing at­ten­tion to the suc­cess­ful open houses held re­cently at schools.

Chair­man Mike Mur­ray’s re­port drew at­ten­tion to the re­newed en­ergy of each school year.

“It’s great to have that feel­ing of start­ing,” Mur­ray said, re­lay­ing the sen­ti­ment of ETSB teach­ers ready to start the year fresh with new at­ti­tudes and new ideas.

“We have some ab­so­lutely phe­nom­e­nal peo­ple in our schools,” Mur­ray pointed out.

Mur­ray added that a re­quest from the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry had come to the board to re­view the fees charged to par­ents.

Ex­plain­ing that the re­quest is not re­lated to the cur­rent class ac­tion suit, Mur­ray said the min­istry would like school boards to make rec­om­men­da­tions by Dec. 30 re­gard­ing fees over and above what is in­cluded in ba­sic free ed­u­ca­tion. He used as ex­am­ples break­fast pro­grams, out­ings, ski and golf pro­grams at some schools.

Mur­ray said boards are asked to also look at sup­plies lists and eval­u­ate whether the lists are rea­son­able, and also look at whether the com­po­si­tion of the lists is con­sis­tent across schools.

The min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion is ex­pected to draw up guide­lines based on the rec­om­men­da­tions pro­vided be­fore the end of the next school year.

Dur­ing the au­dit re­port, Mur­ray re­ferred to a res­o­lu­tion re­gard­ing com­puter ac­qui­si­tions.

“The res­o­lu­tion is fi­nan­cial, but the im­pli­ca­tions are ped­a­gog­i­cal,” Mur­ray said, ex­plain­ing that the pur­chase demon­strates a move on the part of the board to begin tran­si­tion­ing from Ipads to chrome­books, a more ver­sa­tile de­vice,, he said.

Dur­ing the Trans­port Com­mit­tee re­ports, Gary Hol­i­day said there was dis­cus­sion of adding three more elec­tric busses to the ETSB fleet.

The medium-sized bat­tery model the ETSB pur­chased al­lows the bus to go 120 km be­fore need­ing to be charged. Hol­i­day said the driver of the elec­tric bus praised its per­for­mance, and there are sev­eral routes of sim­i­lar dis­tances in the ETSB where an elec­tric bus, which is cleaner and more quiet, could run.

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