Laurae McNally

Laurae McNally

Election 2014: Sole independent school trustee confident about new board

Surrey First Education dominates school board.

With members of one coalition – Surrey First Education (SFE) – now occupying six of seven Surrey Board of Education spots, there’s been concerns floated that balance may be lacking at the board table.

But the lone independent, Trustee Laurae McNally, doesn’t envision it being an issue. She’s been in similar position several times during her lengthy tenure on the board since first elected in 1980.

“I’m a survivor,” she laughed.

In Saturday’s civic election, the three incumbent SFE trustees, Terry Allen, Laurie Larsen and Shawn Wilson, were all re-elected. Also successful were SFE candidates Gary Tymoschuk, Garry Thind and Bob Holmes.

Six trustees are elected by Surrey voters, while White Rock elects the seventh. McNally was acclaimed in White Rock.

McNally said like the previous board, she believes new members will park their politics at the door and make decisions based on what’s best for Surrey kids.

“The board has worked really well for the last six or seven years, and I expect it will continue to.”

The biggest surprise for the newcomers, she said, will be how much work is involved in being a school trustee.

“They’ll be amazed how long the job actually takes if you do it properly,” she said, noting it’s much more than simply attending two board meetings a month.

Independent Trustee Charlene Dobie was the only incumbent to lose her seat on Saturday night, but said while she didn’t get re-elected, she was pleased that as a Delta education assistant, she’d still be involved with students and staff.

The other two seats were vacated by Pam Glass and Reni Masi, who both retired this year.