Sooke School District Chair is the youngest in B.C.


WATCH: Age is just a number for the new board chair of Sooke School District. After Bob Phillips resigned from the position last week, his replacement is the youngest board chair in the province. As Andy Neal explains, making a difference for students in School District 62 is nothing new for 22-year-old Ravi Parmar.

Six years ago, he was a Belmont student calling on the Sooke School District for change.

Now at 22-years-old, Ravi Parmar walks into the School District 62 office as the new chair of the board.

“I’m really honoured to be given this position and to be elected by the board,” Parmar said.

The 2012 graduate of Belmont Secondary is studying at the University of Victoria in political science.

At the same time, Parmar has been a trustee the last two years.

While challenging at times, he’s managed to find a balance.

“I’m a phone guy, so this has become my best friend,” Parmar said.

“My colleague would always, Bob [Phillips] who was the board chair, would always pull it out and we would laugh about it.”

“But I know that these guys can reach me.”

“There’s a pretty nice fit for somebody who has recent experience, knows what it’s like to be a student and can bring that to the table and share that with the rest of the board,” Sooke School District 62 Superintendent Jim Cambridge said.

Just like six years ago, Parmar’s goal now is building new schools.

Enrolment in the district has gone up over 1,000 students over the last two years, and an anticipated 1,800 over the next 10 years.

“Come September, the new government can hopefully give us some money to buy some land and start planning for some elementary schools and hopefully a middle school,” Parmar said

“If we don’t pay attention to it now, five years from now there won’t be a place for students to learn,” Cambridge added.

“So that’s today’s work.”

Potential locations include Lotoria Road near Happy Valley Road for a middle and elementary combined school, and in Colwood near Royal Bay Secondary School for a new middle school.

Parmar’s interest in politics was ignited by premier-designate John Horgan when they met over a decade ago, a growing relationship that may help benefit district needs.

“It’s really cool for in the same week me to become board chair and him to become premier,” Parmar said.

“So I’m really looking forward to holding him accountable in my new role and I know that he would not ask for anything more.”

It’s that accountability Parmar also expects from his constituents in School District 62.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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