Teaching brought me to the North Island “for a year” that grew into a lifetime. My North Island career began at Eagle View but, after taking on a 5-acre project on the Nimpkish River, I transferred to Sunset and later to NISS. My teaching assignments included special education and regular classroom K-12. In addition to teaching, I have served in a number of elected and appointed positions related to educational governance and teacher certification.
I believe a strong public education system is key to the future, not only of our students but also of our communities. Local schools boards continue to be responsible for providing students and teachers with the resources to access that future, even as the authority of local trustees has diminished with increased provincial centralization.
Rural districts face cost and staffing issues difficult to address using the “one size fits all” provincial funding formula. Increased costs of maintaining small remote schools diminish funds available for our larger elementary schools. In addition, our secondary schools are challenged to provide students access to full program options available in larger districts.
I believe the next four years will be key in defining the authority of local school boards. Trustees need to take the initiative by meeting with local parents, teachers and community leaders to develop strategies to ensure that SD 85 students have educational opportunities that allow them equitable access to post-secondary programmes. That was the focus of my work as a teacher and I now ask for your support to continue that work as your Trustee.