The regular meeting of the South East Cornerstone School Division was anything but regular for those from Pangman. At this meeting Pangman School would learn their fate; whether months of effort by the Pangman school review committee chaired by Elwood White and those from Pangman and area had convinced the School Board to defeat the motion for possible discontinuance of Grades 9 to 12 effective July 3, 2012.
Twenty-two people from Pangman were on hand to hear the discussion and witness the vote. The Board members voiced both concerns and support about the school. They also complimented those from Pangman for their commitment and professionalism throughout the review process.
As each Board member spoke to the motion everyone was silently counting the vote. When the final vote was in, the result was 6-4 not supporting the motion for discontinuance of Grades 9-12 as of July 3, 2012. A cheer and a round of applause erupted spontaneously with the spoken result.
Board members voted as follows: Pam Currie (City of Estevan) against; Kevin Keating (Manor) against; Daryl Harrison (Alida) against; Audrey Trombley (RM of Griffin) against; Bryan Wilson (City of Weyburn) for the motion; Harold Laich (Wawota) for the motion; Carol Flynn (Moosomin) against; Len Williams (City of Weyburn) for the motion; Bruce Wagner (Weyburn) against; and Janet Foord (City of Estevan) For the motion.
The Chair reminded those from Pangman that there will be expectations and challenges; a lot of work is ahead of them, and being under review in the future is a possibility.
A short break was called after the motion was voted on. Board Members, School Review committee members and folks from Pangman shook hands and chatted. Some made quick calls to others awaiting word of the vote.
I spoke with Elwood White and Bryan Jesse (Charity Farms) shortly after the break was called to get their reaction about the results of the vote.
“I’m really excited that the Board has given us the opportunity to continue as a K to12 school and grow as a community,” stated White.
“We have the infrastructure so we should be able to attract more families (to Pangman and area) which means more students.”
Jesse added his thoughts, “It is fantastic news for the school and community. It (the review) was a good eye opener. We need to keep working together to make progress as a community.”
Pangman School will continue to offer K-12 while the community works hard to build its numbers to ensure the stability required to continue offering education to all its students.