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Betty Bekkering second trustee to resign from school district

Two trustees step down following departure of superintendent
Betty Bekkering SD57
Betty Bekkering served as a trustee from 2011-14 and was re-elected in 2018.

Long-time Trustee Betty Bekkering has also stepped down from the School District No. 57 (SD57) board of Education.

This follows the announcement Friday that Superintendent Cindy Heitman had left the district after two years in the position, to be replaced by Indigenous Superintendent Pam Spooner, as acting superintendent of schools.

The position of superintendent has been a revolving door since 2016. Prior to Richardson taking on the role in 2020, Rod Allen served as interim superintendent from May 2019 after Marilyn Marquis-Forster resigned less than three years after she was hired in 2016 to replace long-time superintendent Brian Pepper.

Trustee Gillian Burnett also stepped down from the board after less than six months on the job. Burnett was elected for her first term as a trustee on Oct. 15.

Bekkering however had nearly a decade of service on the board, first elected in 2011 and then again in 2018, and 2022.

Board of Education Chair Rachael Weber has not responded to request for comment, but released a statement, Saturday.

“Every member of the Board is committed to education and importantly, brings diverse perspectives. The Board has been, and continues to be, steadfast in creating an environment where different ideas and opinions are welcome and productive debate encouraged before fact-based decisions are made – including those of governance and policy,” said Weber.

“The Board remains focused on building collaborative relationships with rights holders, partners, and stakeholders in working to ensure the District is meeting the needs of students, teachers, and staff. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ms. Burnett and Ms. Bekkering for all their hard work and wish them the best in their future endeavours.”

These departures will cause a by-election, to be held at an undermined date, as there are now two positions vacant on the board.