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Transition first job for Kondra, Lovisa

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Ensuring a smooth transition from two boards to one will be the main job for Bev Kondra and Cheryl Lovisa, the newly-elected chair and vice-chair of the Northwest Catholic District School Board.

The pair got the nod from their fellow trustees Saturday at the board’s inaugural meeting in Dryden.

Kondra, who was approached to run for chair by other trustees, said she decided to let her name stand just days before the meeting.

“I thought I would but I just wanted to really make sure [before I said anything],” she said, noting she had declined to comment on the situation in last week’s Times.

Kondra, who represents Sioux Lookout, was acclaimed as chair. But Lovisa, one of two trustees for Fort Frances, had to beat out Gerry Rousseau (west end) for the vice-chair’s job.

“I’m very happy about [my election],” Lovisa said, noting she was looking forward to being vice-chair.

Both said they have a lot of work ahead of them. Despite the fact trustees are still waiting on the Harris government to give details on the new role of school boards, not to mention the funding model, there’s plenty to do.

“One of our main challenges is to work as an amalgamated board," Kondra said. "We do have an advantage that we have shared the same director in the past.”

“Our board offices are very busy going over policies and collective agreements, looking at how to merge them,” noted Lovisa.

“And certainly we will have to see where our main board office will be,” Kondra remarked.

Still, both were optimistic the new board would manage well together, and they were looking forward to working with each other.

“I like her right off," Lovisa said. "I plan to gain a lot of knowledge from her.”

“I think with only six members, any of us could fill the chair or vice-chair position," Kondra said. "I look forward to getting to know them as I work with them.”

Also at Saturday’s meeting, trustees:

oratified the name of the new school board, and transferred all titles and properties under the jurisdiction of the new board;

oreconfirmed the appointment of Paul Jackson as director of education and secretary of the board;

oappointed Chris Howarth controller of finance and treasurer and Allan Summers as supervisor of operations under their current contracts, with new contracts to be negotiated by Aug. 31;

oratified the appointment of Ann Cox as executive secretary to the director of education;

oconfirmed Denise Witty as secretary to the controller of finance, and Evelyn O’Connell as secretary to the supervisor of operations;

oagreed to establish interim board offices in Fort Frances and Dryden, with a permanent corporate office to be determined by Aug. 31;

odecided past policies from each board will apply to the schools formerly covered in the old jurisdictions until the policies of the Fort Frances-Rainy River District and Dryden R.C.S.S. Boards can be consolidated;

oset the honoraria for the board at $5,000 per trustee, with a chair’s allowance of $8,750 and a vice-chair’s allowance of $7,500; and

oagreed to make interim banking arrangements with the Toronto Dominion Bank in Dryden from January to August.

The next board meeting is slated Jan. 17 in Fort Frances.

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