Pitt Meadows school board candidates acclaimed

Marcela Boggio formally withdrew as a candidate on Tuesday, leaving just incumbent Eleanor Palis and newcomer Sarah Nelson

(From left) Newcomer Sarah Nelson and incumbent Elenor Palis will represent Pitt Meadows on the school board.

The race for who will represent Pitt Meadows as school trustee on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education ended before it began.

Marcela Boggio formally withdrew as a candidate on Tuesday, leaving just incumbent Eleanor Palis and newcomer Sarah Nelson to vie for the two available trustee positions.

As a result, both Palis and Nelson will be acclaimed as trustees, and their names will not be included on the Nov. 19 ballot.

Chief elections officer Laurie Darcus said she couldn’t recall this happening in Pitt Meadows in recent history.

“It’s not common for a city this size,” she said. “In smaller, rural areas it’s quite a common occurrence, but not here.”

Boggio said she dropped out of the race because she thought Palis and Nelson would be better equipped to serve the parents of Pitt Meadows.

“I’ve been to a number of [school board] meetings and noticed a lack of positive energy from some of [the trustees],” she said. “I thought I could bring passion and dedication to the table.

“I believe Sarah and Eleanor have that energy, and will be better prepared for the job.”

Boggio, who immigrated to Canada from Peru with her husband and two children seven years ago, didn’t rule out running for trustee in the future.

Palis said while she is relieved that she doesn’t have to go through the stress of running an election campaign, she is disappointed she doesn’t get a chance to earn a clear mandate from Pitt Meadows voters.

“Definitely, this takes the stress off, but I still want to feel like I’ve earned it,” she said.

Palis said she hopes the lack of trustee candidates is an indication people are happy with the job the school board is doing.

Nelson, a first-time candidate for school trustee, was thrilled to find out she was being acclaimed to the board, and said she hopes to be an enthusiastic advocate for public education while on the board.

Nelson has three children in the public school system, and has previously chaired the district’s gifted children association.

“I’m not a politician, but [school board] feels like a place where I might be able to have a positive change,” she said. “I want to make sure teachers have the resources they need to do their jobs … and if the traditional classroom setting doesn’t work for some children, develop alternatives.”

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