Reni Masi (left) was one of three former Surrey school trustees recognized Thursday for their political service. At right is current board chair Shawn Wilson.

Reni Masi (left) was one of three former Surrey school trustees recognized Thursday for their political service. At right is current board chair Shawn Wilson.

Farewell to former Surrey school trustees

Current board honours colleagues for their advocacy and political service.

Three former Surrey school trustees were honoured on Thursday evening – the first official meeting of the Surrey Board of Education since the November election.

The current board took the opportunity to recognize longtime trustees Reni Masi and Pam Glass, who retired this year, as well as Charlene Dobie, who failed to get re-elected.

Trustee Shawn Wilson said Glass, who served five terms (15 years) and is a former Olympian, was a great supporter of school athletics and “had a way of making people she met feel at ease and important to her.”

Masi, Wilson said, brought a “unique and valued” perspective as a former teacher and principal – experience that “often served to help our board better understand the potential implications of decisions.”

Wilson called Dobie, who served one term, a tireless advocate for students.

“She has long been active in community social causes and I’m sure she’ll continue her work in support of students and learning in a variety of ways beyond her professional role,” Wilson said.

Masi, who served nine years on the board, was the only one of the former three trustees to attend Thursday’s meeting, addressing and complimenting many of his former colleagues and Surrey First Education coalition members directly.

He said the diverse group proved that political parties come second when there’s a common goal.

“We set the stage for good coalitions in Surrey,” Masi said.

He told the newly elected trustees they had a “great experience” and “fascinating job” ahead of them.

“It’s a good feeling when you’re doing good things for kids,” said Masi.

The new board was sworn in last week.