Moyra Baxter has seen a lot of changes in her 26 years as a Central Okanagan Public Schools trustee.
“I’ve seen going from a time when we closed schools and sold off the properties to the last ten years really that we’ve been absolutely desperate for new sites. So that’s been a big change,” Baxter reminisced.
She has decided not to run for re-election in the October school board elections.
Baxter, who is 79, says it has nothing to do with her age.
“I just read in a British newspaper that Gina Lollobrigida, the actress who’s in her 90s, is running for parliament in Italy. So, I tell you, age doesn’t have anything to do with a person’s ability to provide public service,” she explained.
“I think every time election time comes around you sit down and think about whether you’re going to run again. And this time I thought about it and decided, no, I’m not going to do that this time.”
The past two and a half years have seen the board tackle some very divisive issues, including a vaccine mandate for staff that lead to a deluge of emails, letters and presentations from members of the public.
Baxter says the people who make up the Board of Trustees are very different and that has pros and cons.
“It gives so many different points of view and there’ve been times when it’s also been quite hard to deal with; having such different points of view on certain issues.”
Her number one piece of advice for anyone thinking of running for office is to ask themselves why they want to be a public school trustee.
“To really find out what the job entails and what the responsibilities are of being a board.
To realize that as an individual trustee you can’t make any decisions. It has to be a board decision and even if it’s not supported by the entire board, that is what moves forward.”
“Also, I think it has to be somebody who really supports public education and what public education stands for.”
Baxter is looking forward to devoting more time to her other interests but points out that she is still a trustee and has several more meetings to chair before the new board is sworn in after the elections.