By Sarah Pledge Dickson
Local Journalism Initiative
The Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB) met Tuesday in its first meeting of 2024. Council members attended to go over the previous year in review and look ahead to the rest of the school year.
Kandy Mackey, director general of the board, read the annual report for the school year of 2022-2023. She noted the former director general Michael Soucy who returned the position to Mackey in 2023.
“Last year was the year that our former director general Michael Soucy ended his five-year tenure,” Mackey says. “We express our deepest appreciation for his commitment and his unwavering support of our school board.”
She also mentioned the expansion of Farnham Elementary School.
“We still continued a lot of investments, one being Farnham Elementary School that had a remarkable addition,” Mackey says.
Commissioner Joy Humenuik adds that the expansion has integrated the community more than ever.
“Since we’ve done the renovations and upgraded the school there, the town of Farnham has approached them to use it for activities that are overflowing in other places,” Humenuik says. “So, the community will be in the school more than it has been in the past.”
Chairperson Michael Murray addressed the appointment of a new director general of the Quebec English School Board Association (QESBA), David Meloche. One of the first items on their agenda is Bill 96. He says that the QESBA will deposit a contestation of the bill, stating that board believes the Office québécois de la langue français is looking at the bill very narrowly.
“The Office québécois de la langue français is taking an exceedingly narrow interpretation of the law that excludes English education from the application of the Bill 96 provisions,” Murray says. “And so we are forced to once again apply to the courts for a more liberal interpretation of the law.”