Amber Byklum and Rosemary Oaks will join Invermere trustee Jim Jenkinson on the board of School District 6.

New valley trustees ready to learn the ropes

Two Columbia Valley parents will join Jim Jenkinson in representing the Windermere Zone of School District 6 for the next school board term.

Two Columbia Valley parents will join Jim Jenkinson in representing the Windermere Zone of School District 6 for the next school board term.

Amber Byklum of Canal Flats and Rosemary Oaks of Invermere will step into the  two seats on the board left vacant by outgoing trustees Roberta Hall and Greg Anderson. Jenkinson, about to begin his third term with SD6, was also acclaimed.

Oaks, who had four children go through the valley school system, was an active member of local parent advisory groups at Eileen Madson and David Thompson Secondary School for more than a decade. She also sat on various committees, drawing up codes of conduct, giving input on administrative hiring and helped with parent outreach during a teachers’ strike.

Others may also know her from her work with the Invermere farmers’ market — the co-ordination of which she’s handed over to one of her daughters.

After taking a break from PAC work to spend time with family, Oaks says her schedule has allowed her to get involved once again.

“Now that my kids have grown up and don’t need me as much at home and in the evenings I have time to go back and work in the school system,” she says.

Only one of Oaks’ children is still in enrolled in SD6, but she’ll have another familial connection to the district in the near future.

“[My daughter’s] last year of high school will be my grandson’s first year of school,” she explains. “As one finishes, another one starts and then comes the next generation.”

Byklum, meanwhile, has two children enrolled in elementary school — one at Martin Morigeau Elementary and one in Windermere’s Intensive French program — and another set to start in a few years.

“I’d like to be a better contributor to the school district,” says Byklum, who previously worked with the Martin Morigeau PAC for five years. “It just made sense. It felt right that what I wanted to contribute, I could contribute by being a trustee.”

Both new trustees say they’re expecting to spend their first months on the board listening and figuring out how they’ll work with the district’s current goals.

” The district is a very forward-thinking district, and there are so many successes from one end to the other,” says Byklum.

“I think they’re moving in a great direction and have been for a while, and I’m glad to be a part of that. My number one goal is to be part of that success.”

“For the first while I’m just going to see what is out there, what can be improved upon, what may be added to, to enhance things that are already ongoing or to take them to the next step,” adds Oaks.

“It’ll be a learning curve for the first six months to a year at least, so I don’t want to stick my foot in where it doesn’t belong. Mostly I’ll be listening to the parents, to the senior staff and seeing what direction the school board’s going right now.”


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