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Kawerski elected as new school board trustee following byelection

The results are in - the final seat on the Flin Flon School Division (FFSD) board will belong to Katie Kawerski.
Flin Flon School Division board trustees and administrators sit at the board's first meeting Nov. 8. The board includes Jackie Hucaluk, Coralie Jays, Tyler Kittle, secretary treasurer Heather Fleming, board chair Leslie Fernandes, superintendent Tammy Ballantyne, Jed Reeves, Angela Simpson and Tim Davis.

The results are in - the final seat on the Flin Flon School Division (FFSD) board will belong to Katie Kawerski.

Confirmed byelection results were released Nov. 9 by the division, showing Kawerski beat former school board trustee Trish Sattelberger for the open spot by a total of 63 votes to 31.

Kawerski will join trustees Tim Davis, Leslie Fernandes, Jackie Hucaluk, Coralie Jays, Tyler Kittle and Angie Simpson on the seven-person board and will join FFSD executive staff Tammy Ballantyne, the division superintendent, secretary-treasurer Heather Fleming and administrative assistant Kathryn Church at meetings. The board meets twice per month, once behind closed doors and once open to the public - the public meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

The vacant seat on the board formerly belonged to Jed Reeves. Reeves, who was appointed as a trustee last year to fill one of two empty spots on the board, resigned his seat earlier this year after leaving Flin Flon for a new job with a Norwegian company.

The FFSD board of trustees consists of seven trustees in total when fully staffed, each of whom are supposed to be elected to their posts. Local elections last year threw a curveball into that procedure when only five candidates - Davis, Fernandes, Hucaluk, Jays and Simpson - entered their names to run. That led the board and division staff to appoint two members - Kittle, who remains on the board, and Reeves.

According to the last FFSD board meeting, whoever won the byelection would take on the committee assignments held by Reeves. This means Kawerski would serve both as the board's chair of finance and on the negotiation committee for the division in discussions with United Steelworkers members, pending any changes. Reeves was the board's representative with the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce - Simpson has volunteered to fill that role.

Voter turnout for the byelection was dismal - less than one hundred total votes were cast, meaning only between three and four per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot Nov. 8.

In the last full election for the school board, held in 2018, now-former trustee Ebony Trubiak, who received the most votes cast in her favour, had 860 total votes. Now-current trustees Davis and Simpson, who were involved in a 2018 recount when they finished in a near-dead heat for the final remaining seat, had 557 and 552 votes cast for them respectively.

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