Election 2018: Q&A with Bill MacFarlane

Candidate for the Revelstoke school board

Current job/career: Retired school teacher

Why do you live in Revelstoke?

Maybe the question should ask why wouldn’t I live here? Lilli and I moved here over 40 years ago, raised our children here and both started and finished our teaching careers for the Revelstoke School Board. The community has so much to offer and now that we are retired we wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Why are you running to be a SD19 board trustee?

I have been on the Board for the last four years including 3 years as Board Chair. I have always been an advocate for public education and it would be an honour to continue in this role.

Why do you think you are qualified for the job?

Having spent my career in public education I bring 35 years of knowledge and experience to the role of being a school board trustee. I served on City Council for 20 years and was a director of the Revelstoke Credit Union for 15 years. Also, I am the chair of the City’s Advisory Planning Commission. This has meant that I have acquired the qualifications and the skills needed to serve as a school board trustee.

What issues would you want addressed if you were elected?

I feel for the first time in a long time we now have a provincial government that is committed to public education. Here in Revelstoke there is a long history of working collaboratively with education stakeholders to build success for our students. We are viewed across the province as a very successful school district. This is a strong foundation to support the efforts needed to make sure we continue to build a strong, vibrant, inclusive public education system for our students here in Revelstoke.

We will need experienced people as we continue making sure budgets meet the needs of our students. We will have to soon respond to the challenges in what the government recommends on a new school board funding model. Teacher bargaining is set to begin in the new year and I am optimistic that negotiations can be respectful and that there will be success in reaching a new agreement with our teachers. Treating all of our employees with dignity and respect is vital to achieving our goals.

With a new school board in place it will be time once again to look at our vision, goals and strategic plan. This will be an important component of making sure the district is managed in a cost-effective manner and strives for the highest quality. We will need to focus on student success because the student really is the center of public education.

Everyone is entitled to a free, quality public education. Public education is a sacred trust and it must provide the opportunity for all students to reach their optimum potential in becoming fully participating citizens in a free and democratic society.

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