There will be two new trustees around the Border Land School Division board table next month. 
Trustees have selected Bob Adolphe to fill a vacancy in Ward 2 - the Vita area, and Mike Friesen in Ward 7 - the Altona area after the two posts went unfilled following the October election. Those interested in the job were invited to submit expressions of interest to the school division. 

"We examined all of the submitted expressions of interest, and we were very thankful there were a fair number of submissions to consider," said Board Chair Patty Wiebe. "So, we reviewed them for fit with the existing Board, and when I say 'fit', that means many things. We wanted the ability to share different perspectives in terms of stages of life, looking at our succession planning. We read through their letters and their support for public education."

Friesen, who is 32 years-old, certainly fits the bill when it comes to the Board's succession planning. Currently, he sits on the Home and School Association board for Ecole Elmwood School in Altona. 

"I currently act as the Hot Lunch Coordinator, so I help to organize all of the hot lunches that are provided to students at the school, and I thought being a school board trustee was another area where I could get involved in the educational system."

When asked what prompted him to submit an expression of interest in the Ward 7 position, Friesen said he had been approached by a few people in the community, informing him he'd be a good fit. 

"So, I dug into it a little bit and did some research and decided it was something to be good to get involved with."

With one child in grade 2 and another set to enter the public school system next year, Friesen figured it would be good for him to get involved for them. He also feels it was important for a parent with children in school to be a part of the process. 

He looks forward to working collectively as a group to establish the best possible outcomes for the educational decisions being made around the board table. 

For Adolphe, he too was approached by members of the community to submit an expression of interest.

Born and raised in the Vita area, Adolphe, along with his three daughters, all graduated from Shevchenko School. 

"I'm a strong supporter of having a good education for my children and hopefully, my grandchildren," he explained, noting he's served on the parent graduation committees for two of his three daughters. 

Adolphe added, public education has always been a passion of his. 

"All of my girls have been in various events in school - sports and dances and stuff like that. I've been doing it for a quarter-century, so I figured why not keep on going!"

Because he knows all of the current trustees, Adolphe says he is looking forward to serving with them for the next four years.

The entire board will gather for a day of professional development in mid-January. At that time, the new trustees will undergo an orientation session. Their first board meeting as trustees will be January 11th.

When asked why the board wanted to fill the positions as opposed to eliminating one or both of them, Wiebe said previous discussions over Bill 64 played a role. 

"Local voice and local voice for every community that we serve," she explained. "So, we decided it was very important to us as a board to have our communities all have a voice. If we would go down to less trustees, that's less local voice."