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Delta school board newcomers have strong education ties

Veteran Saip impressed by quality of new trustees

He's sad to see a couple of colleagues lose but impressed with the calibre of the newcomers to the Delta school board.

Dale Saip, who was once again re-elected Saturday, said it's looking like a strong board with former Delta Teachers' Association president Val Windsor, former District Parent Advisory Council chair Donna Burke and longtime Delta teacher Nick Kanakos winning seats.

All three newcomers have deep ties to the school district, understand the issues and what the district has been doing to address the challenges, said Saip.

"I know Donna and Val and Nick - Nick especially, I've known Nick for about 30 years - are all very capable and will do a great job. I'm really looking forward to working with them."

Saip campaigned on the REAL Delta ticket with Kanakos and incumbents Simon Truelove and Brenda Bennett-Schneider.

Truelove was re-elected Saturday, along with incumbents Fabian Milat and polltopping Laura Dixon.

Bennett-Schneider and incumbent Janet Shauntz and were not re-elected.

Trustee Gord Masi did not run for re-election.

Saip, who's the current board chair, said he was sad to see two hard-working members of the board in Shauntz and Bennett-Schneider lose, but the three newcomers bring experience that will be needed.

"I was first elected in 1987 and there has never been and never will be enough, so budgeting decisions are always tough and it's always good to have people who have some real life experience and understand the realities... the people coming to the board are all experienced in life and work and have a very realistic view of what needs to happen."

Windsor, who was endorsed by the DTA, immediately following the election said, "We have a lot of challenges in front of us but I think we have between us a lot of good experience that we'll be able to put to good use for the students in the district."

Also endorsed by the DTA, Burke, who had had campaigned with Windsor, told the Optimist this week all the school board candidates had been given a report by district staff outlining the projected enrollment decline. She said as soon as she's sworn in a couple of weeks, it will be important to go out to the community and gather feedback.

"One of the main roles of trustees is to be out in the community and gathering information and gathering ideas and building partnerships with people.

I take that role quite seriously. Budget meetings start in January, so that's just around the corner," she said.

Kanakos, noting a strong group of candidates ran this year, said he's going to have "an open door policy" and will try to meet with the PACs to know their issues better.

He quipped it will be a good experience having a wife on Delta council.

The new school board will be sworn in Dec. 6.


Laura Dixon 9,602

Fabian Milat 9,088

Dale Saip 8,801

Val Windsor 8,485

Nick Kanakos 8,136

Simon Truelove 7,993

Donna Burke 7,087

Janet Shauntz 5,940

Brenda Bennett-Schneider 5,544

Carol Johnson 5,458

Carroll Allan 4,843 Andy Basi 4,544

Julie Saunders 4,295

Sue Lloyd 3,919

Malcolm Smillie 3,809

Pat Dyer 3,542

Brad Sherwin 3,091

Carleen Bazowsky 2,663

Andrew Maas 2,335

Michael Macumber 2,093

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