At the May 3, 2022 Open Board meeting, Board Chair Candace Spilsbury announced that she would not be running in the upcoming trustee election set for October 15, 2022.
Chair Spilsbury has been a fixture on the Board of Education for 14-years and has been instrumental in stewarding an effective, visionary, and caring Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District.
First elected in 2008, then trustee Spilsbury has been re-elected to the Board of Education four times. Additionally, Ms. Spilsbury has been elected by her peers as Chair of the Board for ten 1-year terms.
As the Chair of the Board of Education, Ms. Spilsbury has overseen the recruitment and hiring of three Superintendents, has spearheaded efforts to build the now-flourishing relationships with local Indigenous communities, and is a stalwart community and childcare advocate.
A staple in the community, Chair Spilsbury worked with other elected leaders to gather local government officials and service agency leads, creating the Cowichan Leadership Group which oversees the response to across the Cowichan Valley.
With Chair Spilsbury at the helm, the Board made additional headway in a number of crucial areas. In securing a new Cowichan Secondary School, the Board has laid the groundwork for generations of students to receive exceptional educational experiences in a modern, safe, and culturally responsive school. She also played a crucial role in mobilizing the community around the additional Health and Wellness centre in the school.
Additionally, under Chair Spilsbury’s leadership the Board created ‘Beyond Education’, the Board’s visionary strategic plan. This plan has led to the formation of the Board’s Ad-Hoc Anti-Racism Committee, Climate Change Committee, and Early Learning Committee as well as a number of other initiatives.
Chair Spilsbury’s focus on early education and childcare were instrumental in securing five new childcare centres in the District. These centres will serve families for years to come.
Finally, Chair Spilsbury has thoughtfully led the Board and District through the last three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the District’s quick change into a community-support organization when COVID-19 first came to the Cowichan Valley.
All of this was done while ensuring that all learners were well prepared for a world they would create. From improvements on Indigenous graduation rates to the building and implementing of the Framework for Student Learning, these evidence-driven programs have helped learners succeed in the world.
“My passions are kids and educational success for every one of them. I have worked in education for 47-years as a teacher, administrator, and trustee, including 21-years in the Cowichan Valley, and I have loved every moment of it. I will really miss the relationships I have developed in the school district with trustees, staff, community leaders, and students and their families. I will also miss the challenges of making things better for students in our schools. However, it is time to heed the call of my family, and not run for a trustee position in the fall election,” said Candace Spilsbury, Chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District.
In BC, School Trustees are elected on a 4-year cycle. This current cycle concludes on October 31, 2022 and trustees will be elected to the Board of Education during the election on October 15, 2022. The new Board of Education will be sworn in during the first Open Board meeting in November.