Message from VWS Board of Trustees

Dear Parents,

The 2016 AGM was held on Wednesday, October 26. 83 of the 106 members of the Vancouver Waldorf School Society attended the meeting either in person or by proxy, an impressive turnout. At the AGM Ferdinand Vondruska’s longstanding commitment and contribution to the School was recognized, as he was unanimously approved as an Honorary Member of the VWSS. Congratulations Ferdinand, and thank you for your dedication and support over the last almost 50 years. In addition to the other normal meeting work, the members approved the appointment of the following 6 people to the Board of Trustees: Walter Daroshin, Eric Doherty, Rebeka Eriksson, Chloe Gow-Jarrett, Eric Lee and Rick Li. Blanka Ponec was announced as a new Faculty-appointed Trustee, replacing Lori Johnston whose term expired.

The new Board held its first meeting on the evening of Wednesday, November 9. Lori Johnson had indicated that she would like to continue her work on the Board, and the Board was eager for her to continue to serve, so the first item of business was the appointment of Lori to the Board. Her term will expire at the next AGM, at which time she will be eligible to seek reappointment. Thank you Lori for your continued dedication to the School in so many different capacities. The full Board of Trustees now consists of Walter Daroshin, Eric Doherty, Rebeka Eriksson, Phil Fertey, Lorna Fortin, Chloe Gow-Jarrett, Lori Johnston, Eric Lee, Rick Li, Blanka Ponec, Jennifer Williams and Geoff Woodfield, with Susan Connon-Wilby, Malcolm Nash and Huy Pham as ex-officio members.

The remainder of the meeting was somewhat of a getting to know each other session and establishing the groundwork for a few new initiatives. As per our Strategic Plan, we are looking further into the establishment of a Governance Committee, to be tasked with evaluating our governance structure and suggesting improvements. Our first step is to coordinate our efforts with the governance reviews and self-studies currently underway at the College, and Walter Daroshin will be looking into this further and reporting back to the Board. With our High School lease coming up for renewal soon, Eric Lee, Jennifer Williams, Geoff Woodfield and Malcolm Nash agreed to start engaging some analysis on our School facilities generally and our options for the future. There was some discussion on the outstanding Development position and how it will look; Chloe Gow-Jarrett agreed to facilitate a workshop for the Board to frame the role and its responsibilities. This workshop should take place in late November or early December. We will provide further information on the progress of these initiatives as it becomes available. In terms of finances, we continue to track close to budget, with a small increase in our projected deficit this month due to some unexpected expenses, including a $12,000 bus repair bill. We hope to be able to make this up through decreased expenses or increased revenues through the remainder of the year. The Board also decided that going forward we would distribute quarterly financial information to Members, including information on how we are performing against budget (we considered providing monthly information but based on feedback about frequency of communications we felt quarterly information would be the most effective and efficient).

We thank those who set aside the time to come to the AGM, and thanks to those who just read this for taking an interest in the School and its affairs. See you at the Christmas Fair!

Eric Doherty, VWSS Board Chair