Sutherland named chair of Abbotsford board of education

John Sutherland was named chair of the Abbotsford board of education at the inaugural meeting on Monday night.

Trustee Shirley Wilson recites the oath of office while other trustees look on during the Abbotsford board of education's inaugural meeting.

Trustee Shirley Wilson recites the oath of office while other trustees look on during the Abbotsford board of education's inaugural meeting.

Long-time trustee John Sutherland was named chair of the Abbotsford board of education Monday night at the board’s inaugural meeting, while newcomer Rhonda Pauls was named vice-chair.

Seven trustees – five incumbents and two newcomers – were sworn into office, each reciting and signing the oath of office and the school trustee oath of allegiance in a reception attended by about 100 people at Eugene Reimer Middle School.

It was the first meeting of the new board since the municipal election on Nov. 19. Returned to the board were Sutherland, Korky Neufeld, Preet Rai, Shirley Wilson and Cindy Schafer.

Newcomers Stan Petersen and Pauls took the places of Joanne Field, who did not seek re-election, and Uultsje DeJong, whose re-election bid was not successful.

Sutherland has been a trustee for 24 years, and this is the third time he has served as chair.

In his inaugural address, Sutherland said although Abbotsford is a “world-class district,” it shouldn’t “rest on its laurels.”

“All of the talent, motivation, professionalism and motivation that are necessary to take Abbotsford higher is resident in this group of inviduals,” he said, referring to the other trustees and district staff.

The new board’s first regular public meeting takes place Monday, Dec. 12 at the school board office, 2790 Tims St., starting at 7:30 p.m.