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School board chair, vice chair positions acclaimed

Board in last year of term
2017-12-05 DSBONE Draves Brush MH
Cochrane trustee Dennis Draves (left) and Timmins trustee Bob Brush are the new vice chair and chair, respectively of District School Board Ontario North East. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

With less than a year left in the term, there is a new chair and vice chair at the head of the public school board table.

Timmins trustee Bob Brush and Cochrane trustee Dennis Draves were acclaimed as the chair and vice chair, respectively, for District School Board Ontario North East.

With more than 30 years experience in education and seven years as a trustee, Brush said he’s honoured and humbled to be elected chair.

“The year ahead is going to be challenging, but it will also be rewarding,” he said.

He predicts some of their efforts will be focused on developing a renewed strategic plan (which should be done by early April), ensuring a safe and welcoming learning environment for students and staff, and being fiscally responsible.

“I can also say that I’m very interested in researching the possibility of livestreaming our open meetings,” he said.

For the past four years, Brush has served as vice chair of the board of trustees. In that role he worked with then-chair Doug Shearer.

“His work ethic and leadership have been exemplary and I’m not in any way going to try and fill your shoes, I’m just going to try and walk in the trail you have set in leading us through this next year,” Brush said.

The new vice chair Draves has 41 years in education under his belt and has been a trustee for 11 years.

In the year ahead, he said the board will be figuring out the best opportunities for students to deal with the future.

“Things are moving so fast that what is important today, it seems in six month or a year we’ve gone by that. To me that appears to be a huge challenge, how do we still continue to give students advice and how do we provide that for them?” he said.