One week after the 2022 Municipal Elections it’s back to work for councils and school boards across the southeast.
In the Hanover School Division there were 4 incumbents re-elected and 5 challengers are now also at the board table.
In Ward 1 west, serving the residents of Niverville, Bothwell, Kleefeld and Crystal Springs are acclaimed and new to the HSD as Trustees Jeff Friesen and Dallas Wiebe.
In Ward 2 north, serving the residents of Landmark, Blumenort and Mitchell are newly elected Trustees Charmaine Toews and Shayne Barkman.
In Ward 3 serving Steinbach families are incumbents Ron Falk, Danielle Funk and Brad Unger and though not new to the HSD board room, new to the Steinbach Ward is Lynn Barkman.
Then in Ward 3 south, Grunthal is Cheryl Froese who is also a new Trustee and she too, was acclaimed.
Over the past weeks and months of campaigning 10 Trustee candidates from Ward 2 and Ward 3 spent thousands of hours going door-to-door. They talked to thousands of residents in the Hanover School Division and now, all of them are breathing a sigh of relief. For those that were elected, their work is just beginning as Hanover School Division Trustees meet Tuesday night for their monthly meeting.
The evening will include introductions, electing a board chair and vice-board chair and getting familiar with the processes and procedures. Those like Lynn Barkman, who has already served 22 years in Ward 2, will be very familiar with the agenda. The five newest members of the board will be paying close attention to the proceedings.
In the latter ground are Ward 2 Trustees Charmaine Toews who won with 798 votes and Shayne Barkman, who narrowly defeated incumbent Sue Doerksen by 21 votes.
Toews says, becoming a Trustee is something that she has thought about for a number of years. She was thrilled to have been able to meet so many residents of Ward 2 during the campaign.
“And know being elected it's really nice knowing that I have the confidence of people behind me and that I have supporters. In some ways, it's a lot easier to just get in by acclamation, but to be voted in just feels really great.”
Toews says she they have quite a few full day meetings in November. “We're going to do a lot of discussing and planning and learning at those meetings, especially for the ones that are new to the board. We will have a lot of reading to do I'm sure, and just a lot of learning which I'm really looking forward. I will also need to become more familiar with the Public Schools Act and just the things that we do have a say over and the things that we don't, and so we just need to make sure we understand the difference and what things are mandated by the government.
“I think that's going to be really exciting and I know that Shelley Amos is looking forward to getting us all up to speed as quickly as possible, I'm sure.”
Toews gives a shout-out to Ward 2 Trustee for the past eight years, Sue Doerksen. “She's done a really great job. She's a friendly face at all the school functions. She's very approachable and I know she worked really hard to be elected this time, but it was such a close race. Lynn Barkman was also representing our ward for many years and now she will be a Trustee representing Steinbach, so she will continue on in her work there. I look forward to working with all the trustees that are on the board.”
Meanwhile, Shayne Barkman the other newly elected Hanover School Division Trustee in Ward 2 says he couldn’t believe it when he found out he’d been elected.
“I knew it would be a close race right from the beginning. It was just unbelievable. I was so excited and I was so thankful. I was just in disbelief in the moment. I was in a race against some other very qualified candidates and I just tried my best and I know they did too.
Barkman says going door-to-door was a humbling opportunity to meet so many residents of Blumenort, Landmark and Mitchell. “Just to hear their story and what their values are and what their concerns are and what they want or what they think is best for their child in school, and so on, and it was just a lot of fun to get to know people that I hadn't seen for a while, hadn't talked to for a while.”
Barkman says when it comes to being the voice for Ward 2 representing the families in Blumenort, Mitchell and Landmark he wants to be consist with his platform.
“I want to make sure we have a balanced budget approach so that we're spending money wisely and making sure that every dollar is accounted for. I want to make sure that each child has the support they need in their community and in their school in order to be a success. Also, I just wanted to make sure that my goals aligned with the community's goals and then work together to try to best represent our children and do our best for their education.”
Barkman too, thanked the predecessors of Ward 2, including his mom, Lynn Barkman.
“I also want to send out a big big thanks to Sue Doerksen. She served for eight years in Ward 2. She did a tremendous job taking care of the kids in the community and the parents and the teachers. She loves kids and wants to do what's best for them. I just really appreciate both of their services in Ward 2. I think they've left the next two people that are new coming in, a great Ward 2 to build on. I really appreciate their service.”
The Hanover School Division Trustees meet on the first Tuesday evening of the month in the HSD Administration Office in Steinbach. The next one is on November 1, followed by December 6 and January 10, 2023. A Public consultation meeting on the HSD budget will take place on February 7, 2023 and a Board/PAC liaison meeting will take place on November 22 and April 5, 2023.
The public meetings begin at 7:30pm and will run until the agenda is complete. You can download the meeting agenda and minutes on the HSD website.