Partial text of address by board chair Frank Fera at organizational meeting Tuesday. Attention was drawn to Welland trustee Paul Turner, a retired teacher, elected in 2018:
Those of you who know me fully realize that if issues come before me, I will confront them directly and administer justice to promote the educational welfare of students and staff in the interest of this board. Walking away from issues does not solve problems, but rather complicates them.
Last year, with the assistance of the vice-chair and a couple of like-minded trustees, we dedicated our time in bringing the unions aboard to work cooperatively with senior staff in the interest of students – an achievement that no other chair was able to realize in past years. As a direct result of this effort, the director and the president of the unions are now working together to solve grievances, saving our board a great deal of money that can be utilized to better serve our students.
Furthermore, we have been told that staff morale has improved, and that our teachers are looking forward to the 2020 school year.
Also, through the leadership of trustee Turner, a committee is being established to study our enrollment patterns across the system, and make recommendations to the Board. This positive outlook must continue as we embark on a journey to hire a new director for the coming years.
I would consider this to be a task of paramount importance. Moreover, since our system is still somewhat scarred with wounds subsequent to the lockout, the new director, apart from the many leadership skills that he/she brings to the board, the one quality that must undeniably stand out is the ability to heal relationships between the board and the teachers.
(Source: Niagara Catholic news release)
Election of chair, vice-chair follows.