BCSTA’s Northern Interior Branch (NIB) consists of eight school districts: Cariboo-Chilcotin, Quesnel, Central Coast, Prince George, Peace River South, Peace River North, Fort Nelson, and Nechako Lakes. We meet four times per year, twice in host member districts and twice during BCSTA’s annual general meeting (AGM) and the annual BCSTA Trustee Academy.

Our fall meeting at a host member district meetings runs for a day and a half and focuses on professional development for trustees. Our AGM is in January or early February each year in Prince George; we meet for a day and a half where we work on motion development for the BCSTA AGM and have our business meeting. At this time, we also have our annual member of the legislative assembly (MLA) forum that invites participation from  MLAs in member district areas. We have a discussion prior to the MLA forum to choose items of interest to our member districts that we want to discuss with our local MLAs. We also use this opportunity to thank them for advocating for public education on the issues we present to them. This has proven to be a great dialogue that results in all of us sharing what is happening in the education sector. At our fall meeting and our AGM, we also have opportunities to  foster working relationships and build connections between districts.

We are fortunate to have member district staff support at all of our meetings and in the planning of our meetings and events. They provide valuable support that enhances our branch in many ways. We also appreciate BCSTA director and staff support at each of our meetings and events.

Once during each trustee term, we use our fall meeting to have a joint meeting with the North West Branch. This is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with other districts from rural, Northern B.C. Our branches often share the same interests and concerns, so it gives all of us an opportunity to network and share amongst our member districts.

Our executive consists of a president, vice-president, our Professional Learning Committee (PLC) representative, a branch communications officer and a past-president, if applicable, as this position only sits for one year after a new president is elected. These are elected positions of one-year terms. Our branch is also supported by the secretary-treasurer of the member district which has the highest student full-time equivalents (FTEs) and the branch superintendent is from the PLC representative’s board.

Branch members partake in a team-building activity after a day of meetings

We are presently forming an ad-hoc committee at the branch level to look at our constitution and bylaws. We want these to reflect current practice and sustain a branch structure that reflects our member districts in a way that is good for trustees, students, staff and BCSTA.

We appreciate the way that BCSTA has structured branches so that we can grow, learn, and collaborate in a smaller group that shares commonalities. It is a structure that is working for the Northern Interior Branch.

Gloria Jackson, President, Northern Interior Branch