Election 2018: Q&A with Garry Pendergast

Candidate for Revelstoke school board

Current job/career: Part Time Instructor at Okanagan College. Retired UK Elementary School Principal with 34 years of experience in Education in the UK and 13 further years in Further Education and Arts related activities in Canada. I was Revelstoke Arts Council Executive Director from 2007 to 2017

Why do you live in Revelstoke?

My wife and I came to Revelstoke in 2005 after we took early retirement from our teaching careers in the UK. We fell in love with the City, its surroundings and the feeling of community. We both became actively involved in the Arts and Education Communities and I now volunteer with the Community Housing Society and the BC Interior Forestry Museum currently serving as treasurer for both Boards of Directors. We have two grandchildren who attend one of the local elementary schools and we support, and are involved with, their school activities. I particularly enjoy seeing students enjoying live performance and was glad to be part of the growth in that part of the curriculum over the past ten years.

Why are you running to be a SD19 board trustee?

I think Revelstoke has some excellent educational facilities, teachers and programs. I want to support the School Board in maintaining and developing not only the fabric of the buildings, but also the programs that are offered to all students, as well as supporting teachers in their training and development. Throughout my education career my mantra has been “Every Child Matters”. We have a very caring attitude in Revelstoke and this is reflected in our schools. This needs to be fostered and to continue to grow for the benefit of all. I believe the experience I have gained in the UK and Canada of life-long Education, management and Board Governance has given me knowledge and expertise in a variety of educational settings which will be a useful addition to the SD19 Board.

Why do you think you are qualified for the job?

The pursuit of education has been part of my whole life. I firmly believe in life-long learning which begins with the experiences that children receive in their early years. My goal has always been for children to develop a love of learning rather than just receiving ‘taught’ lessons. I passionately believe in ensuring all students have access to as wide-ranging curriculum as possible. I follow developments in the latest educational research in Canada and the UK. I have a particular interest in Math and have Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Mathematical Education.

My Education work in Canada has included delivering programs to all ages of students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and in my college work, to adults. A significant part of my work at Okanagan College involved teaching the Education Assistant Course for seven years. This gave me a special insight into the Canadian Curriculum both pre and post the recent changes, as well as the opportunities that are provided for students who require additional support.

I was elected to the Board of the British Columbia Touring Council in 2011 where I served as Treasurer for two years and Chair for four years during which time we changed our Governance model to that of Board Governance, using the Carver model.

I have served on UK “Governing Bodies’ – the equivalent to the School Trustee model here – and understand the way in which schools work and how to support those delivering the Education to our young people.

What issues would you want addressed if you were elected?

To continue to promote the safety and welfare of all students.

To work with the schools to continue to improve the availability of special programs for students with educational special needs.

To ensure all students achieve success

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