LAKELAND – Familiar faces will continue to be at the helm for Lakeland Catholic School Division (LCSD) board of trustees.
Diane Bauer and Margaret Borders ran unopposed for chair and vice-chair, respectively, during LCSD’s meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
This will be Bauer’s second year as board chair, following two years of serving as vice-chair.
“I worked very hard last year in the position to get familiar with the role and I think the board is pleased with the job I did. I’m happy to continue to work hard for LCSD,” Bauer expressed, adding she hopes to continue collaborating with other school boards.
“I think they’re pleased that I ran effective and efficient meetings. I worked hard at trying to work collaboratively with other board chairs and I think we’re going to continue to work together. Those are some areas I want to continue to work on.”
Bauer has an extensive history with LCSD. She was a teacher, principal, and deputy superintendent over the 31 years she worked for the district.
A challenge for Bauer in her first-year board chair, which has continued into her second term, is the coronavirus pandemic and how LCSD is moving through it.
When the province announced students would be heading back to the classroom come September, Bauer was blown away by how everyone came together to ensure their pupils would be as safe as possible when they walked through the doors on the first day.
“I really give credit to our senior administration,” she exclaimed. “They’ve worked really hard, and it’s been a hard and long summer to get prepared. As a board, we’re very pleased with the plan they have come up with. It’s one of those plans that’s going to be a flexible one and we’re reassessing as things go, but it’s been a tremendous amount of work.”
The re-entry plan for LCSD schools, which was announced earlier this month, was also a positive for Borders.
“We want to reassure parents that they have options and we want them to feel safe,” she stated. “If they aren’t feeling safe in school to know we have an online option until they do feel a little bit more save putting their child back into school. For those parents who are ready to send their children (back), we’re ready to keep them in an as safe as possible environment and I know our teachers are anxious to get back at it.”
During her second term as vice-chair, the coronavirus overshadowed a lot of aspects for Borders as the board was forced to have virtual meetings and schools closed in March.
“We still do our jobs as best we can through (virtual meetings). It gives us a great deal of pause to find solutions to this problem and really try to reassure parents that we’re doing absolutely everything we can to make sure that we have a safe school re-entry plan.”
Borders is looking forward to working side-by-side with Bauer during the upcoming school year.
“She’s just a supreme organizer. She’s always on top of all the issues in the situation to be able to lead our discussions and make sure that we’re on top of what’s going on in the province and in the district,” she detailed. “She communicates to us all of the information that she received from the province, superintendent to the board and that’s what’s essential, is all of the board members get all of the information and she’s extremely diligent about getting that information to us.”
Bauer and Borders expressed their appreciation to the board for trusting them to take the lead again this year.