Gurmail Aujla has been acclaimed as the new Alberni Valley school district trustee, representing the West Coast.
The trustee position became available after former West Coast trustee Barbie Mayor stepped down in June, citing changes to her work schedule as a legal nurse as well as general frustration with the school board over west coast issues.
Aujla, a retired teacher, said he was encouraged to run.
“I wanted to contribute to the community on the West Coast and this gave me the opportunity to do so in an area I have some knowledge in,” Aujla said.
“Several friends of mine asked me to step up and I said sure.”
With no one else putting their name on the ballot, Aujla was acclaimed last Friday and his first school district board meeting will be Sept. 10. Aujla wouldn’t comment on what he plans to champion for on behalf of West Coast schools, insisting he wants to go in with an open mind.
Aujla studied psychology and history at UVic, earning a Masters in history and attaining a teaching certificate as well. He is married to Denise Aujla, who is president of the Pacific Rim chapter of Parents for French.
The couple lived in Victoria before moving to the West Coast where Aujla taught high school in Ucluelet. After 10 years on the West Coast, the couple moved with their two daughters to Victoria so they could be enrolled into French Immersion as it wasn’t offered on the West Coast.
“We had the choice to either move to Port Alberni or Victoria, but my wife was a French immersion teacher in Victoria before so we decided to go there,” Aujla explained.
The couple retired to Tofino in 2010.