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Several Sooke school trustees remain undecided on election plans

Nominations open Aug. 30

One prediction you can count on in the upcoming election is that there will be at least two new faces and maybe more on the Sooke School District’s board of education.

First-term trustee Bob Beckett, who served as vice-chair, has decided not to seek re-election, and Wendy Hobbs has decided to retire from the board after 25 years. Hobbs plans to run for council in Langford in the October municipal election.

All three trustees representing the Sooke Region have yet to make a final decision.

Seven-term trustee Bob Phillips said it is “highly unlikely” that he will run again.

“I have spent 26 years working with the board of education to make improvements in the district and that requires a lot of investment,” Phillips said. “I will decide in the near future based in part on the other candidates who announce their intentions to run.”

Margot Swinburnson, also in her seventh term, said she hasn’t made a final decision yet.

“This is the first year I expect significant changes on the board,” she said. “I’ve put a lot of work and effort into serving and would be willing to do it again. I’m waiting to see who else runs, and don’t want to stand in the way of innovation.”

First-term trustee Allison Watson also said she has not made a final decision.

“I have two young kids, and I need to think about my family’s financial future,” she said. Watson explained that taking on the extra work on two committees has created an income versus workload situation.

“The hard part about this decision is I love the work with the board,” she said.

Board chair Ravi Parmar said that although he is planning to run again at this point, he won’t make a final decision until closer to the nomination date.

In her fifth term as a trustee, Dianna Seaton has also not decided if she will run again.

Nominations for the school trustee election open on Aug. 30. The civic election is Oct. 15.

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