Board of Education & Governance
Board of Education
School District 46 is governed by a seven member Board of School Trustees elected by the public every four years. The Board sets policies and directions for the operation of the district and its schools. As a result of the October 2018 municipal election, six new trustees joined one returning trustee to form the Board of Education of School District 46 – Sunshine Coast.
The current board was sworn in at a ceremony on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at the School Board Office and trustees will remain in office until October 2022.
The general public and parents are encouraged to attend regular school board meetings held at the School Board Office located at 494 South Fletcher Road in Gibsons. The board’s meeting schedule, include agenda packages and minutes of previous meetings, can be found here.
At the meeting taking place on November 4, 2020, trustees elected Amanda Amaral as Board Chair and Maria Hampvent as Vice-Chair. Trustee Pammila Ruth was elected BCPSEA Representative and Trustee Tonya Ste. Marie was elected BCSTA Provincial Council Representative.
The Board of Education of School District 46 (Sunshine Coast) is comprised of (L-R – back) Trustees Maria Hampvent (Vice-Chair), Samantha Haines, Stacia Leech, Sue Girard, Tonya Ste. Marie, (L-R – front) Pammila Ruth, and Amanda Amaral (Chair) .
Abby Grunenberg, grade 12 student at Chatelech Secondary, is the 8th Student Trustee in the board’s history. She is sure to continue the rich legacy of having an influential student voice at the Board table on the Sunshine Coast.
“The opportunity to impact future students is an honour, and I am proud to represent the diverse students of SD46. I look forward to working with the other trustees to improve students’ experiences,” commented Abby.
The board is very excited to welcome Abby to the board table for the 2020-21 school year.
Amanda was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast. She is a proud graduate of the Sunshine Coast Alternative School—Class of 1999.
A social worker by profession with a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Calgary and a certificate in public administration from the University of Victoria, Amanda currently works for the Ministry of Children and Family Development as a Team Leader. She has served on various community boards such as the Gibsons Public Market, Arrowhead Clubhouse Society and the Board of Variance for the Town of Gibsons.
Amanda is a parent of two children who attend Davis Bay Elementary’s NEST nature education program and is supportive of expanding the school district’s commitment to educational and operational initiatives in environmental sustainability.
Amanda was elected as Board Chair on November 4, 2020.
Maria Hampvent graduated Royal Roads University with a Masters degree in June of 2018 with two post-graduate certificate specialties: Values-Based Leadership and Sustainable Community Development. This education coupled with her long local volunteer history which includes: Secretary of the DPAC in 2018, current Vice-Chair of Regional Economic Development, many years of coaching soccer and baseball and President of Student’s Council at Chatelech Secondary in 1992 and 1993 have prepared her for the aspiration to be in public service as a Board of Education Trustee. Maria has 4 children ages: 5, 10, 16 and 18.
Maria was elected to the role of Vice-Chair on November 4, 2020.
Trustee Leech has lived on the Sunshine Coast since 1980. She recently retired from the Roberts Creek Community School Society where for the past twenty years she was the Executive Director of the Society. For the past twelve years her work was focused on research, development and implementation of school based social and emotional programs.
As the Director of the Health Canada funded ‘Mind the Gap’ project she was responsible for all aspects of an initiative to deliver and evaluate social emotional interventions in the student, teacher and parent community of School District 46.
She is a certified Facilitator and had the privilege to act as Board Chair for many Sunshine Coast regional committees, initiatives and not for profit societies.
Since retiring from the Roberts Creek Community School Society, she has been working as an independent contractor; teaching eight-week, mindfulness based, stress reduction courses and conducting a province wide survey of student and teacher well-being. “We know that stress costs us all and has an impact on school and family life – surveys and research give us a greater understanding of the stresses inherent in the system? I feel that SD46 is well positioned to contribute to this provincial conversation”.
Trustee Leech is a supporter of the environmental literacy initiatives in our schools. And will be encouraging a regional approach to these initiatives.
She has two grandchildren who live in Gibsons; they will be in starting school soon and will joyfully keep her connected to the children and classroom teachers of School District 46.
Trustee Leech served as Vice-Chair from November 2018 to November 2020.
Trustee Ruth has lived on the Sunshine Coast since 1991, raising her two sons with her husband here in Gibsons. Her eldest son is currently going to University of Victoria studying to become a teacher and her youngest is completing his final year at Elphinstone Senior Secondary.
Before becoming a school trustee, she ran a licensed family daycare for seven years and had been extremely involved in the PAC at her children’s schools. She was a PAC executive almost from the get go. She lobbied for computers in the school, crossing guards and for a safer intersection when government funding was drastically cut. She attended meetings regarding the new elementary school despite her youngest moving up to the high school before its completion, in order to make sure that the parent viewpoint and concerns were being met.
She decided to become a school trustee to ensure that parents and students would always have a voice at the district level.
Over the previous term she had the pleasure of working with for student trustees, now five, and has watched them grow as leaders. “How can we govern an organization focused on students if we don’t listen to what they have to say?”
Pammila was first elected to the board in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 for a second four year term. Pammila served as Vice-Chair from December 2017 to October 2018 and as Board Chair from November 2018 to November 2020.