New leader at public board, re-election at Catholic


Alex Kurial and Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative

The Lambton Kent District School Board will have a new chair and vice-chair as it heads into 2021.
Randy Campbell of Blenheim has been elected as chair during the school district’s Annual Organization Board Meeting Dec. 3.
Derek Robertson – a Chatham Trustee – is the new vice-chair. Both positions were chosen through trustee votes.
Campbell has served as a trustee for the past 14 years, and jumps to the chair position after serving as vice-chair from 2018-20. He takes over for long-time chair, Jane Bryce of the Camlachie area who has served in the capacity many times over the years she has been on the school board. Most recently she was chair of the board from 2016 to 2020.
“I appreciate the support of the board and I look forward to the transition to the chair position,” he says.
“As we continue to face unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ongoing enrollment and financial challenges, the board will remain focused on effective governance that supports student success and well-being,” says Campbell.
Robertson is a relative newcomer to the board since his 2018 election. He’s gained experience on the Special Education, Negotiations, and Auditing committees.
“I am looking forward to taking on a new role as vice-chair of the board,” Robertson says.
“We will continue to work together to promote transparent, accountable and responsible governance and support the sustainability of the LKDSB moving forward.”
Director of Education John Howitt says Campbell and Robertson will oversee many important projects moving forward. “I congratulate Chair Randy Campbell and Vice-Chair Derek Robertson on assuming the leadership of the Board of Trustees,” he says.
“As we move forward with the implementation of the Strategic Priorities 2020-21 to 2025-26, the board will continue to focus on putting students first, and work with staff, parents/guardians and community partners to promote student achievement and well-being,” says Howitt.
There will no changes in trustee leadership for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board for 2021.
At the initial board meeting held virtually Dec. 1, John Van Heck was acclaimed to the post of board chair, while Mat Roop was acclaimed vice-chair.
Both men held the same positions for 2019 and 2020.
Van Heck has been a Catholic trustee since 2006 and 2021 marks Roop’s third term as vice-chair.
In a statement to the press, Van Heck said that in a Catholic system, “having hope is never a stretch.
“God always promises to be with us, and He has never given us more than we can handle if we humble ourselves and lean into Him,” he said.

  • The Independent and The Herald