It has been an honour to serve as Chair of the Limestone District School Board of Trustees. I would like to thank my fellow trustees for the work that we have done this year focused on ensuring students across the district receive quality public education.
The final year of our term in office has not been without its challenges, including supporting teaching and learning throughout the pandemic, and although extremely difficult at times to balance various pressures, trustees remained focused on student achievement and well-being.
A milestone project for the Board completed this school year was the process of officially renaming École Maple Elementary, a decision that acknowledged the pain and harm the former name had caused within the community, and in particular with Indigenous community members. Following the Board’s unanimous vote to initiate the renaming process, a Renaming Committee was established in October 2021 to oversee the consultation process with various community stakeholder groups to select renaming options. The Renaming Committee was comprised of students, families, staff, and community members, with a particular emphasis on ensuring membership included Indigenous Peoples and voices. Throughout the process, stakeholders voted on names that honoured equity, diversity, and inclusivity to ensure all students and staff felt safe and welcome. Student, staff, and community voice were considered at various stages throughout the process, and the Indigenous Education Team supported significant and age-appropriate learning opportunities for students within the classroom. École Maple Elementary was chosen by the Board from a short list of four final names provided to trustees by the Renaming Committee. Trustees were honoured to be involved in such an important school community project that is one step on our collective journey to Truth and Reconciliation. Trustees are sincerely appreciative to all members of the Renaming Committee for their diligence and commitment to the renaming process.
In addition to our governance work as a Board, we supported Limestone staff in moving forward several key initiatives this past year, including the development of the Umoja Black Advisory Committee, launching both the staff and student Human Rights Incidents and Complaints forms, having a large and supportive turn out at both the Napanee and Kingston PRIDE celebrations, and having a unanimous vote for an Indigenous Trustee appointed to the Board of Trustees.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to acknowledge Director Krishna Burra, along with Senior Staff, and all Limestone employees for the continued development and delivery of initiatives that support student transitions, career paths, character development, and interventions that ensure success for all students. Thank you for always being student-focused, and for supporting trustees this year, as we remained focused on making decisions that effectively served all our students.