The Fort McMurray Public School District is losing its longest serving trustee.
Board Chair Jeff Thompson won’t be seeking re-election as he’s been transferred to Calgary as part of his job with Syncrude.
He’s served 17 years with the public district – first winning in a by-election followed by five consecutive terms.
Thompson tells Mix News one of his best moments with the board was the day he was told a new school was being built after the community waited roughly 26 years.
“When I got the call from the minister of education at the time, he said Jeff – I’m calling you with some news but you can’t tell anybody, you got the school and that was École McTavish, that was the start of school construction and development in Fort McMurray.”
Thompson notes since then Walter And Gladys Hill, Christina Gordon, and Dave McNeilly have all been built with École McTavish and Composite High School currently seeing major renovations as they add a high school wing and go through a modernization.
He says his fondest memory will always be graduation as he personally got to see many students start, finish, or continue their education while he served on the board.
“When I see grade 12 students walk across that stage at the grad ceremonies, that’s the most rewarding thing to see – to know that the efforts, the decisions have resulted in students being able to complete their grade 12 education here and go onto post-secondary or go onto work.”
Meanwhile, Thompson adds this most likely would have been his last year with the board, with or without the job transfer. However, he isn’t ruling out a future run at becoming a trustee in Calgary.