Two new trustees were sworn on to the Revelstoke Board of Education at their meeting last Wednesday.
Bill MacFarlane and Leslie Savage are joining incumbent trustees Alan Chell, Jeff Nicholson and Elmer Rorstad on the board after the five were acclaimed during the recent elections.
Macfarlane is a former city councillor and former president of the Revelstoke Teachers Association, where he formed part of the BC Teachers Federation’s bargaining committee during the 2011-12 labour negotiations.
“Based on my past experience in working life I thought I had a lot to offer to the position,” he said.
He said he wants to work on the relationship teachers have with trustees and the province and to be an advocate for the public education system, including long-term sustainable funding. “As a teacher I was an advocate for public education and as a trustee I’m going to be an advocate for public education.”
Savage is probably best known in Revelstoke for writing a food column for the Revelstoke Current.
She comes to the position after many years as a teacher at both the grade school and post-secondary level.
She said she wants to promote a STEM curriculum — science, technology, engineering and math. She also stressed the importance of leadership in the schools, saying that her best days when she was a substitute teacher were when the principal would greet each student by their first name at the start of the day. “I’d like an approach in which the leadership is very visible and is very much in touch with what’s going on, not just through reports,” she said.
Savage plans on starting a blog called Imagine Tomorrow that will be hosted at Stanford University’s edublogs.org and will make herself available to the community at Sangha Bean for 1.5 hours prior to each board meeting.
“What I hope to do is encourage a conversation about schools and education amongst parents and teachers in Revelstoke,” she said. “Anybody that has any kind of issue about the schools, I’d be happy to talk to them. That’s my plan.”