SUDBURY—Val Caron resident Ruth Ward has been selected to fill the trustee position on Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) left vacant by the resignation of Tyler Campbell.
The eight trustees approved Ms. Ward’s appointment at the regular Board Meeting held on Tuesday, March 21, following an election by secret ballot in a closed meeting.
There were 12 applicants for the vacancy, including at least two from Manitoulin and in announcing the successful applicant, RDSB Chair Doreen Dewar thanked those individuals who responded to the opportunity to serve as a trustee. “There is a tremendous level of interest in Rainbow schools from public school supporters who have significant experience to share. We appreciated the many applications that we received,” she said in a March 22 release, adding “we look forward to welcoming Ruth Ward to the board table.”
RDSB Manitoulin trustee Larry Killens cast the sole dissenting vote in Ms. Ward’s appointment, objecting to his concerns in the selection process.
““I have nothing against Ms. Ward,” said Mr. Killens. “She is most capable and experienced, but for me there were too many red flags in the process. We didn’t even decide on the process until just before the vote.” Mr. Killens asserted that a board policy against taking notes during in camera meetings put an unreasonable burden on trustees during the selection process.
“We never had an opportunity to meet the candidates face to face,” added Mr. Killens. “We only had the documentation to go by.”
Mr. Killens also said he had some concerns with the suggestion that Ms. Ward had been contacted prior to the application closing date by members of the board who urged her to run. “I made a number of attempts to contact candidates after the application deadline,” he said. “But I did not contact them before the closing date.” Mr. Killens said that he had also not endorsed any individual candidate, although he admitted that he did say that he was pleased to see that Allan Boyd had submitted his application and posted as such on his Facebook account.
A resident of Val Caron, Ms. Ward was a trustee with the Board from 2006 to 2010. Prior to her election, she served as chair of the RDSB’s Parent Involvement Committee for several years. In this capacity, she participated in Ministry of Education workshops and made presentations on the important role of school councils. Ms. Ward was not re-elected to the board in 2010.
As a member, chair and community representative on the school council at Confederation Secondary School and Valley View Public School for many years, Ms. Ward made an immense contribution at the school level, noted the release. While her children attended Val Caron Public School, she was a member of the Parent Teacher Association and was part of the Sudbury Board of Education’s Homework Committee.
“Public education has always been a priority in my life,” said Ms. Ward. “Education is a partnership where each partner plays a unique and crucial role. I welcome the opportunity to participate in the process in the role of trustee.”
Ms. Ward has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto and has been self-employed as a bookkeeper for more than 30 years.
Her community involvement includes over five years of service as a board member and treasurer of the Social Planning Council as well as a board member and treasurer of the Chaplaincy Ministry in Long Term Care Facilities. She also served as a member of the Handi-Transit Committee in Valley East and as an assistant coach in the local basketball league.
Ms. Ward was sworn in as a trustee on Monday, March 27, at the Sudbury courthouse. She will serve as a trustee for the term ending December 2018.