Tim Bennett is now the vice-president of the BC School Trustees’ Association, the coalition of all public school trustees in the province. Bennett was acclaimed to the position on Thursday night during the BCSTA’s Annual General Meeting held this year in Vancouver.
Bennett has been on the association’s Board of Directors since 2018. He stepped up to the provincial table then, he said, “because I felt there should be representation from all parts of the province.”
When incumbent BCSTA president Stephanie Higginson of Nanaimo announced she would not be seeking reelection, the present vice-president, Carolyn Broady of West Vancouver, put her hand up for the position. No other trustee opposed her, which made an immediate vacancy at her spot at the table. Bennett was unopposed when he volunteered to take it on.
Bennett said his positive working relationship with Broady was one of the reasons he felt confident in letting his name stand.
“I think, this year in particular, that public education is at an interesting time in B.C.,” Bennett said. “We are coming out of COVID response, our schools are starting to feel like those previous patterns of life are returning, but we also know that COVID isn’t going anywhere. We have to find this balance. I want to be a part of that, and initiatives like implementing the new curriculum recognizing our Indigenous history, implementing the action plans around Bill 41 (the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People's Act), and all the regular day to day things that our sector is responsible for.”
Modern day balances played a role in Bennett earning the vice-presidency. He was scheduled to be at the BCSTA Annual General Meeting, as usual, but his expectant wife and baby had other ideas. His newborn girl decided to arrive early, so Bennett was focused on family rather than travelling to the convention.
Technology allowed for him to nonetheless participate in the BCSTA’s electoral process.
“If you asked about this even three years ago, to accept nominations from people not physically in the room, that may not have been acceptable,” said Bennett. “We have been forced as a society to accept changes and adapt with innovation. I’m glad of that for another reason, too, and that is, we want mechanisms in place to allow for young parents like myself or prospective directors in other situations to still have a way into leadership positions and positions of communication. That goes to the board levels as well. We want Boards of Education to represent the communities that elected them. That doesn’t look just one way at all times. We want dialogue to flow, opportunity to flow, no matter what the situations that may come up. We have the technology, now, and we have a couple of years of seeing how it can work.”