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School briefs: Awaiting arrival of King Charles portrait

Queen Elizabeth portrait’s future status still unclear

It is still a bit unknown what will happen with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in the Central Okanagan Public Schools board meeting chambers.

Moyra Baxter, chair of the Central Okanagan Board of Education, said the portrait will be removed and replaced with a picture of King Charles provided by Buckingham Palace.

“We have already put in an order for a portrait photo but we are not sure yet about the protocols of what we would do with the Queen’s portrait, ” Baxter said at the Sept.14 board of education meeting.

“Whatever protocol direction we are given will be taken seriously.”


School trustees recognized Megan Frederick, music director of Okanagan Mission Secondary School, for her “extraordinary leadership” in coordinating the musical tribute and fundraiser for Ukraine, held at Prospera Place on June 26.

The concert raised more than $12,000, involving the musical contributions of 400 students from all middle and secondary schools across the district.

“It was a celebration of our talented young people, coming together in support of a worthwhile but sad cause to respond to a need,” Frederick said.

“It was awe-inspiring for everyone to be a part of and to support each other.”

Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools superintendent/CEO, said students were shown by a teacher’s leadership how a small group of people can pull together to make a real difference in the lives of others.

“It was a model of behaviour that we encourage all students to follow and it sends a powerful message,” Kaardal said.


There are several new additions to the school district administrative staff:

• Rob Drew, director of operations

• Brenda Kirsch, acting district principal of early learning and child care

• Troy White, district principal of learning technology services

• Jessica Anjos, Helen Gorman Elementary principal

• Kimberley Grimwood, Quigley Elementary principal

• Steven Labrie, Rose Valley Elementary principal

• Sarah Watson, Canyon Falls Middle School principal

• Kevin Auclair, École Dr. Knox Middle vice-principal

• Brett Beaudry, École Glenmore Elementary vice-principal

• Rani Gandham, Rutland Senior Secondary vice-principal

• Laura Wiemken, École KLO Middle vice-principal

• Lise Bradshaw, executive assistant to secretary-treasurer/CFO


The board of education has declared Sept. 26-30 as Truth and Reconciliation Week in Central Okanagan public schools.

The school district will also recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30.


Parent advisory councils have been given a formal stamp of approval by trustees for Webber Road Elementary and Ecole Bellevue Creek Elementary schools.

Both schools have been reopened due to increasing enrolment for the 2022-23 school year.


The new Westside secondary school will not step away from its past history.

While there has been some confusion about the name for the new secondary, the board of education confirmed it will be called George Pringle Secondary.

Moyra Baxter, chair of the board of education, said recognizing the former École elementary school’s past history and past graduates as a secondary school had always been the board’s intent.

In a controversial decision at the time, the school was originally a high school but was changed to an elementary school, leaving the Westside with only one secondary school, Mount Boucherie Secondary, with enrolment now beyond capacity with more than 20 portables on the school site.

Efforts to build a second secondary school went through various options before the decision was made to repurpose George Pringle elementary back to a high school, a project that is expected to take the next four to five years to complete.


The school district has several nominees as finalists in the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education.

The nominees are: Outstanding New Teacher - Rupinder Aujla, Ellison Elementary; Rob Bennett, Ecole Kelowna Secondary; and Carmen McDowell, Rutland Middle; Outstanding Support - School Community, Nicole Rishaug, student success team advocate at Mount Boucherie Secondary.

The award winners will be announced at Government House in Victoria on Oct. 14.

Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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