July 31st will mark the end of Katharine Shipley’s third term as President and the culmination of five years in our office serving teachers and advancing the interests of public education. Throughout her tenure, she has tirelessly and gracefully contended with issues ranging from the routine to matters for which there are no easy solutions, matters that will continue to challenge the Association and BCTF.

Katharine’s dedication to the Association’s interests far exceeds our expectations for the role of President. It seems like it was a long time ago however, back when we thought that the biggest challenge that this year would bring would be the negotiation of our provincial collective agreement. Katharine signed up as a delegate to the NDP convention and bore the expense of a three day trip to Victoria for the sole purpose of pressing the interests of teachers and public education in the Government’s agenda.

Katharine is known to comment that “there are no normal years in the VSTA office” – little did we know at the outset of this year, how true that would be. In the face of COVID-19, Katharine’s work to ensure that the office continued to function and that teachers are supported commenced in the week prior to Spring Break and continues to this day.

While we will miss her day to day counsel in the office, we look forward to working with her on Executive Committee as a Local Rep and take consolation that, in her new role as a District Teacher Librarian, she will be only a phone call away when we need her advice. Thank-you, Katharine, for your dedication to your work as an In-House Table Officer over these past five years!


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