Two new faces and five incumbents elected to Abbotsford board of education

Freddy Latham and Phil Anderson join the five incumbents who were running

Re-elected trustee Rhonda Pauls (right) discusses election results on Saturday night at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium with incumbent Patricia Ross

Re-elected trustee Rhonda Pauls (right) discusses election results on Saturday night at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium with incumbent Patricia Ross

Two new faces join the five incumbents on the Abbotsford board of education, following Saturday’s municipal election.

Freddy Latham and Phil Anderson join Cindy Schafer, Stan Petersen, Shirley Wilson, Rhonda Pauls and Preet Rai on the seven-member board.

Two long-time trustees – John Sutherland and Korky Neufeld – did not run for the board this time around.

Sutherland has retired from politics and Neufeld is seeking the Conservative Party nomination in the new Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon federal riding.

The non-official results were: Schafer with 12,777 votes followed by Petersen (12,343), Wilson (11,881), Pauls (11,680), Rai (11,489), Latham (10,901) and Anderson (9,928).

Just missing a spot was Balbir Gill with 9,463 votes.

A total of 16 candidates were vying for a position as a trustee.

Speaking at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium after the final results were released, Latham said she is excited to be joining the board for the first time.

She said she enjoyed the campaign leading up to the election and her “interaction with community members,” and is looking forward to having a voice in the school district, especially as a member of the arts community.

Latham is the founder and artistic director of Abbotsford Children’s Theatre.

Also joining the board for the first time is Anderson, retired from owning an auto repair business for 30 years. He previously served as a school trustee for nine years, including one as board chair, in Lloydminster, Alta.

Leading up to the election, Anderson said the key issues of importance to him were class sizes too large for individual teachers and providing specialty classes for children with special needs.

“Trustees need to be a link between the classroom and the community,” he said at the time.

The inaugural meeting of the new Abbotsford board of education will be on Dec. 9.

The other eight candidates finished in the following order: Linda Matties (7,839 votes), Kirpa Punam Kaur Mann (7,249), Kamal Gill (6,213), Graham Evan MacDonnell (5,278), Harold Kokot (4,556), Kevin Pedersen (4,316), Noah Dwain Arney (3,539) and Tadeusz Kuczynski (1,975).

– For more photos from Saturday night’s election, visit the Abbotsford News Flickr page at

(Below: Newly elected trustee Freddy Latham (left) joins daughter Megan Latham after election results are announced on Saturday night at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. Photo credit: Vikki Hopes)



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