Last week we asked the eight candidates for the Revelstoke Board of Education why they were running. This week we ask them the following:
What skills and/or experience do you bring to the position that make you a great candidate?
Here are their responses:
During my 32 years as a resident of Revelstoke I have taught and coached for close to 20 years at Revelstoke Secondary School and lately operated a local business, Free Spirit Sports. In addition, I have volunteered my time as a director on various community groups. This experience of working with decision making bodies has improved my listening skills and ability to work in a group setting. I have had a rewarding experience as a teacher in Revelstoke and wish to give back to the school system I taught in.
Thirteen years of experience working as a school trustee is the number one answer to that question. I enjoy working with all components of the school system – the students, the teachers and the support staff.
I feel that having served one term as Trustee on the Board of Education of School District #19, I have completed the sometimes steep learning curve to become informed about the issues affecting the delivery of the best quality of education we can provide to our students, given our resources. One of my capacities as Trustee was to serve as the Chairperson of the Finance and Facilities Committee. I have invested extra time working closely with Secretary-Treasurer Ross to understand all of the important funding formulas and resource allocations that affect the delivery of programming and supports to our students.
Another committee that I have served on this term is the Revelstoke Literacy Action Committee. This work is of great importance to the children of our community and the collaboration that has occurred in the past amongst early learning partners, for example, has had a direct impact on the quality of education that we deliver in School District #19. In our school district, according to the latest Early Development Instrument (EDI) indicators, the children of Revelstoke are among the very least vulnerable in the Province. I have worked full-time in publicly funded employment programming in Revelstoke for the past 15 years, the past six years working for Okanagan College at the Revelstoke Employment Services Centre.
I have served on the Revelstoke Child Care Society Board and have been involved in the Revelstoke Genealogy Society. I have served four years as Director on the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce and I am currently serving my first, three year term as Trustee on the Board of Education. I believe that I have demonstrated the experience necessary and the capacity to work diligently and collaboratively on public boards in the community to represent the best interests of the community.
I have been involved in education for over 40 years. I have a Master’s Degree in Education. I began my full-time teaching career in New Zealand (one year), Australia (one year), nine years as a Teacher,Vice-Principal, Principal, in the Terrace School District, and 20 years as Principal in Revelstoke (Farwell, Mt. Begbie, Mountain View, and Columbia Park). After retiring in 2003 I continued to be a substitute Teacher/Principal until this past June. I have also served on the Board of the Revelstoke Credit Union for 6 years. During that time I learned how to operate more efficiently as a Board member and learned more about the budget process.
As a candidate for School Trustee in Revelstoke, I bring many years experience as a parent advocate. I am passionate about recognizing and addressing the challenges our children, parents, and teachers face in ensuring children with special needs become successful members of our society. I am also aware of the ongoing contract bargaining, and bring experience from representing my union (TSSU) at Simon Fraser University during their bargaining process. I was the graduate student representative for my department during the hiring process of new faculty. I was actively involved on many levels while attending Simon Fraser University and continued on several of these boards well past my graduation in 2007.
Some of the boards and committees I worked on were: NEADS (National Educational Association for Disabled Students) Board 2006-2010; ATBC (Assistive Technology British Columbia) Advisory Committee; CCD (Council of Canadians with Disabilities) Board; PEADC (Provincial Equipment and Assistive Devices Committee; TSSU (Teaching Support Staff Union) Executive Board (in this capacity I was on various committees including the bargaining committee); Human Rights Policy Board, SFU; Senate Appeals Board, SFU; Childcare Society, Executive member, SFU; Students United for Disability Support, SFU.
I believe I share the same vision and value system of our community as a whole. I was born and raised in Revelstoke, and completed K-12 in this community. Many years ago, I also worked within this school district as a youth-care worker within the school setting.
Embracing education is a family affair in my household. My wife volunteers extensively in the classroom as I have three children in school (including pre-school and elementary).
In my professional career, I work for Canadian Pacific Railway as their Employee and Family Assistance Program Coordinator. This role as a helping professional in assisting others to achieve their goals, enhance health and wellness, and protect safety is often carried over to my role as a trustee.
I am a diligent worker and listener. I am honest with a strong personal and professional code of ethics. Over the last six years I participated on many sub-committees on the board and am familiar with a wide spectrum of issues affecting the school district. I am motivated by a desire to serve children and the community. I consider myself a team player who understands and accepts the role of board member. I am an effective communicator and broad thinker. I understand the history and mission/vision statement of the school district.
I worked as a biology and science teacher at RSS until retirement in 1999 and have been a school trustee since then. This experience has given me a broad understanding and appreciation of the system and of all those who work in it. I also appreciate that a strong start for preschool children is vital and have applauded our community’s efforts in this regard. I have been chair of the policy committee, where we have continually initiated and revised school district policies in a collaborative way with parents and staffs. Along with other trustee responsibilities I represented the Revelstoke School Board at the BC School Trustee Provincial Council and the Okanagan College Advisory Committee for several years. My personal interests include local history, (I serve on the Revelstoke Museum and Archives Board), reading widely and attending as many guest speakers and cultural offerings as I can here in Revelstoke. Band and drama presentations by our students are also of special interest to me.
I would bring 27 years experience as a locally elected school trustee, with the majority of those years serving as Chair of the Board. On the regional and provincial level, I am also the Chair of the Okanagan Labour Relations Board (for school districts in our region), Vice Chair of the BC Public Schools Employer Association, life member of the BC School Trustees Association and a Director on the Public Education Benefits Trust (oversees the provincial benefits program for CUPE employees).
I have also been very involved in the community, including serving as a Director for the Revelstoke Credit Union, producing community musicals, chairing the past two Revelstoke homecomings, chairing the first two Carousel of Nations celebrations, helping organize the Revelstoke Glacier Challenge softball tournament, Big Bear soccer tournament, organizing the Little Bear soccer tournament, being a member of the Early Childhood Development Committee and coaching youth soccer.
The all-candidates forum for the school board takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 26. This will give you a chance to ask questions directly of the candidates. The Times Review will provide full coverage of the forum online at www.revelstoketimesreview.com and in the Nov. 2 issue of the newspaper. The election is on Saturday, November 19.