The Abbotsford School District’s board of education has named three-term trustee Stan Petersen and two-term trustee Rhonda Pauls the chair and vice-chair of the board in its inaugural meeting this week.
Running unopposed, Petersen and Pauls were acclaimed to the positions in the first of four elections for chair and vice-chair of the board during this term.
“I actually, after last year and we elected our chair, I said my colleagues ‘Next year I’m going to put my name forward,’” Petersen said. “I think it’s something that everybody aspires to, I think, at some point, to be the chair of the board. Thankfully, my colleagues agreed with me at this time.”
Petersen’s ascent to chair comes after two years as vice-chair of the board, a position that Pauls now steps into.
“The role of both chair and vice chair are of service to the board. I have done both in past terms, and it has always been my position that I would serve – or not- at the will of the board,” Pauls said in an email.
“When I was asked to serve as vice chair for this term I was pleased to say yes because I believe our district is working hard to advance our strategic plan and that Chair (Petersen) and I will be a complimentary team to serve the board in carrying on this good work.”
Petersen, too, pointed to the strategic plan for the direction of the board moving forward.
“I really do believe in shared leadership, so all seven of us will lead the district. I think my role is just to kind of make sure we keep our focus, and that is in our strategic plan. We’ve got a great strategic plan in the district, and I see us continuing to make that our focus,” Petersen said.
“The priority of any school district is student success, but it (the strategic plan) really does create a path for that success. … There’s no particular order, but if you look at it, we talk about having the right workforce, the right opportunities for kids, optimizing of the resources that we have available. If we do that, we really do believe we’re going to see improved student success.”
Prior to this week, Shirley Wilson was chair of the board.