Long-serving school board trustee resigns

TVDSB Trustee Joyce Bennett. Photo from the Thames Valley District School Board.

After 33-years of service a Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) Trustee is calling it quits.

Joyce Bennett, the trustee representing Wards 7, 8, 9, 10 and 13, has resigned, effective immediately, the board announced following a closed door meeting on Tuesday. No reason for Bennett’s sudden departure was given.

“Joyce demonstrated her commitment to the community with her extensive involvement in many groups and committees over the years and we are so thankful for all that she has done to champion student achievement, well-being and equity in our schools,” said board Chair Lori-Ann Pizzolato.

Bennett was first elected to the Board of Trustees for the former Board of Education for the City of London in November 1988. She went on to serve as chair of the board for two consecutive terms in 2002 and 2003. Bennett was also the recipient of the Dr. Harry Paiken Award of Merit from the Ontario Public School Board’s Association and the Steve Cordes Community Star Award.

“Joyce was a valuable member of the board for many years. It’s important we recognize Joyce’s exceptional long-term commitment to ensuring the needs of the students in the TVDSB community were made a priority” Director of Education Mark Fisher said in a statement.

Bennett is the second trustee to resign this year. In September, Oxford trustee Bill McKinnon announced his departure from the board. It came four months after he stepped down as board chair. The board appointed former trustee Graham Hart to fill the vacant seat.

Trustees will discuss options to replace Bennett at the next board meeting on October 26.