Milton Peach has been acclaimed the first chairman of the new Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.
Peach was chairman of the board for the eastern region and is a trustee for the region as the school boards amalgamate.
The school boards that once existed have merged so there is one English school board and one French for the whole province. Peach was the only individual who ran for the role of chair of the new board, and was named so at the district’s annual general meeting this past weekend.
Despite being the only one who ran, Peach said he appreciated the board of trustees having confidence in him to do the job. He added that the merging of the boards provides the ideal opportunity to take the best from each of them.
“I’m very confident we’ll have the best of both worlds in that we’ll take the good out of all of it, merge it together, and move on from there with the aim, at the end of the day, of course that it’s for our students.”
Peach did admit to the two very different challenges facing rural and urban areas of the province.
”It’s challenging in the rural parts of our province with regard to declining enrolments, and when you get onto the Northeast Avalon you know we have the opposite problem of exploding populations.”
Peach used the example of Mud Lake in Labrador having a single student enrolled, and Holy Heart of Mary in St. John’s having about 950 students.
Peach said he’s familiar with the many nooks and crannies in the province which will help but is also aware of some challenges ahead.
“It’s going to take some growing pains because whenever you merge some groups together there are issues that will arise.”
Peach also said he and the other trustees are confident the merging of the boards into one will be successful.