Patrick Moores, Haida Gwaii’s school board trustee for Masset and Tow Hill, abruptly resigned last week alleging a disregard of policy and procedure from the chairperson.
Moores, a former superintendent of SD50, stepped down at the last regular board meeting Jan. 29 after just two months on the job. On Saturday Moores released a statement in a letter to the Observer laying out his grievance with board chair Roeland Denooij. He specifically accused Denooij of violating a policy of confidentiality by disclosing information from in-camera meetings. Moores alleges when he raised concerns over the breach of protocol two other board members supported Denooij on the disclosure.
“In School District No. 50 Haida Gwaii, we follow the Rule of Law,” Moores wrote in his letter. “Roeland Denooij acts as if he is above the Law. Our School District policy … states: ‘No Trustee shall disclose to the public the proceedings of a closed meeting.’”
Moores also objects to Denooij signing a “major contract” on behalf of the board prior to being officially sworn in as a trustee.
“This is illegal,” Moores wrote. “Roeland and our Secretary-Treasurer should have known better.”
Denooij respectfully declined to comment on the matter at this time, but referred the Observer to a press release issued by the school district. It stated special advisor Piet Langstraat will follow up on Moores’ concerns at the next regular board meeting. A public report will follow.
“The Board of Education of School District No. 50 regrets the resignation of trustee Pat Moores. Mr. Moores’ experience and knowledge were valued assets for the board,” the release reads.
“The board is committed to providing high quality education, island-wide, to all fo our students. We look forward to engaging with our communities and continuing our efforts to create a unique educational atmosphere that fosters dignity, resilience and personal success for all students of Haida Gwaii.”