Election 2018: Q&A with Rick Hodgson

Candidate for Revelstoke school board

Current job/career:

I am retired after 25 years in education and 14 years as an owner of a graphics design, production and installation business. I do continue to do graphic design and consulting.

I have also worked in Revelstoke for several businesses in the retail, graphics and tourist industries.

Why do you live in Revelstoke?

We first started visiting Revelstoke in 1997 when our daughter moved here. Over the years, another daughter moved here and we were frequent visitors. In 2007, we bought a home in Revelstoke and, after selling our business in Vernon, followed our daughters in 2010. We now count 4 generations in our Revelstoke family, ages 2 and a half to 97.

Having spent 14 years as graphics design, I found the cohesive appearance of Revelstoke in its signage and frontages to be impressive and attracting. Beyond that, there was a cosmopolitan culture not found in other communities that I have experienced. There is a vibrancy in Revelstoke that is larger than its size. It is a vibrancy dependent on the diversity of its citizenry and the many volunteers. This diversity is fascinating, engaging and profoundly educational.

Why are you running to be a SD19 board trustee?

First, I have 5 very distinct reasons for running for school board…. ages two and a half to 8 years. Three are in grades K, 2 and 3. The other two will impact the system in 3 years. I want to work for them.

Second, as Revelstoke continues to move from a resource-based to resort-based economy and the community changes, I foresee new pressures on our children’s school district. I want to be part of a future that makes the decisions that ensure we don’t lose any of the exceptional school services that our children presently enjoy.

And our children are our future.

Why do you think you are qualified for the job?

I have 25 years experience in education. In the classroom, I have taught grades 3 through 9 as well as computer literacy classes for teachers and Community College students. As an itinerant classroom teacher, I have taught French in Kindergarten through grade 4. As a teacher librarian, I have directed school and district resource centres and taught library skills to students in Kindergarten through grade 7 in English and French. In rural Saskatchewan, I served as a principal in a K-7 school.

I have worked in education in three provinces. At the provincial level, I established the evaluation program for educational software for the Learning Resources Branch of Saskatchewan Education.

In business, I helped to establish computer store franchises in Saskatchewan. My wife and I owned and operated a graphics business in Vernon. We specialized in screen printing but produced commercial signage for a wide variety of businesses. Our web page, created in 1997 allowed us to market our products throughout British Columbia, Alberta and the U.S. Over the 14 years, we even had several clients in Revelstoke.

What issues would you want addressed if you were elected?

A consensus at the October 2 Council All-candidates Meeting indicated that the next 4 years for the Council will be very busy with very difficult decisions. The children of Revelstoke and the school district will be impacted by those decisions. Research into the fate of other communities converted into ski resort destinations does not tell of positive results for their residents and neighbourhoods that made up their communities.

As our housing units are gobbled up for commercial short term rentals and our residential neighbourhoods are commercialized, prices and rents will continue to rise. This lack of affordable shelter will impact on the schools district’s ability to staff to its current highly competent level. And without affordable shelter, families will choose to live elsewhere taking their children with them. Fewer students means less money and fewer services.

Currently Revelstoke enjoys, in my professional judgement, an exemplary school system. I need to see that it maintains its high standards and all current services. I need to see that the schools continue to meet the changing and future needs of our children.

And I need your vote to do that.

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