Parsons to fill void at HPEDSB Trustee table

A very familiar face to the Quinte area and the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is returning to the Education Centre.

Former public school board trustee, MPP and Justice of the Peace Ernie Parsons was sworn in as the new trustee for Sidney and Frankford on Monday night at the HPEDSB monthly meeting of Trustees.

Parsons was selected through an interview process, which resulted from the former trustee stepping down following the municipal election last fall.

“We interviewed a slate of extremely strong candidates and are very excited to welcome Ernie to the Board table. As a former public school board trustee, Member of Provincial Parliament, registered professional engineer, and most recently a justice of the peace, Ernie brings a remarkable record of public service and an unwavering commitment to the betterment of our communities. His extensive governance experience will be an asset to the Board, especially our first-time trustees, as we work toward achieving our strategic priorities,” said Amanda Robertson, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee that was established to oversee the appointment process.

Parsons has lived in Sidney Ward for several years and in statement said he was looking forward to joining the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. He has extensive experience in education, provincial government and justice matters. He was a trustee with the former Hastings County Board of Education and then the amalgamated Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board for 17 years, with six as Chair of the Board.

At the November 21, 2022 Organizational Meeting of the Board, the Board approved an appointment process to fill a trustee vacancy as per Policy 3-H: Filling Vacancies on the Board. Advertising for the vacancy was open from November 24 to December 21, 2022. Candidates were interviewed on January 19, 2023. Board members recommended Mr. Parsons be appointed at the public Board meeting on January 23, 2023.

According to the statement, Parsons “believes in the close interaction between school boards and the provincial government, which will be useful in assisting the Board to make financial and policy decisions. He has a long history of working collaboratively with community partners to improve education outcomes for students.”