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Murray returns as school board chair

Mike Murray was elected by his fellow trustees to serve another one-year term as chairperson of the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Board of Education. - The News/Files
Mike Murray was elected by his fellow trustees to serve another one-year term as chairperson of the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Board of Education.
— image credit: The News/Files

Mike Murray was elected by his fellow trustees to serve another one-year term as chairperson of the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Board of Education, at its regular meeting Wednesday.

Eleanor Palis was chosen to serve another year as vice-chairperson. Both ran unopposed.

Murray, the retired District of Maple Ridge parks and leisure services manager, is in his second term as chairperson, and also his second term on the board.

School board trustees are elected in B.C., but the trustees – seven in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows – then nominate and vote for the board chairperson and vice-chairperson.

"I appreciate that confidence," Murray told the board following his selection, adding that his approach has been to rely on the collective leadership of the group, and he will continue with that leadership style.

Prior to the nominations, Murray presented a chair's report on the past year. It highlighted an improvement in the graduation rate, which has risen from 82 per cent for the class of 2008 to 87.4 per cent for last year. Over the same period, the grad rate for students with learning disabilities rose from 52 to 75 per cent, and the Aboriginal grad rate went from 64 to 67 per cent.

He said the major goals for the new year include adopting an updated strategic plan, a new long-term facilities plan and succession planning for the district's aging work force. Obtaining funding for a new school in the Albion neighbourhood is another key goal.

The report also referenced teacher job action and the need for "a much-improved teacher bargaining process."

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