Malinda Little is the newest Lambton-Kent District School Board trustee after winning a vote at the school board’s meeting Tuesday.
The vote was held to replace former trustee Brittany Jenkins, who stepped down earlier this year.
Eleven candidates offered up their services for the role during short pitches to the board.
While 10 of the people vying for the role appeared in person, Little was the only one to make her case via Zoom.
“I already feel like I have an advantage because you get to see my smile,” Little joked when it was her turn.
Little is from Sarnia and a product of the public school system, along with her three sons. She says this year’s events have shown the need for unique approaches to problems.
“Education has always seemed organic to me. It grows and changes with the community and the people within it. This makes it a requirement for us to learn to adapt to new challenges as they arise,” says Little.
“2020 has shown us that out-of-the-box thinking to provide our school communities with the support they need to maintain a quality education while caring for the mental health of the students, staff and families.”
Little says her life experiences have prepared her for challenging issues the board is facing now and in the future.
“Adapt and overcome is a statement that was taught to me many years ago in leadership training with the Air Cadet organization. It is a statement that I have used often in my life as I have faced challenges, and have had to teach my children to approach their own problems,” Little says.
“Too often it is easy to get stuck in a solitary line of thinking. Being open to new ideas and fresh perspectives will ensure that we are making the best decisions for the good of the community as a whole.”
After hearing presentations, 10 of the existing public trustees began the voting process.
Trustee Lareina Rising recused herself as she was acquainted with one of the applicants.
It took three ballots to reach the necessary majority to declare a winner, with the lowest voted candidates being eliminated each round.
The third and final round came down to Little and Lindsay Lauridsen, where Little finally prevailed. Ballots were cast in secret and destroyed after the vote was completed.
Trustee Derek Robertson says he will be making a motion at the next board meeting to change this process to require a public recorded vote going forward.
Along with Lauridsen, Cole Anderson, Charles Archer, Matt Joosse, Janice McMichael-Dennis, Kathleen Myers, Wayne Pease, Meghan Realesmith, Matt Russell, and Regina Stockus were the other candidates for the position.