Meet the candidates: Vladimir Certik

Web Lead

  • Nov. 12, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Vladimir Certik is seeking election as South Rural trustee for the School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of education.

I have a master’s degree in teaching, and open mind and a desire to figure things out. Two of my kids are home schooled. I have no strings attached. I am not for sale. For me, becoming a trustee is not another feather in a fancy hat. It is not another trophy hanging on the wall.

Facts: Trustees oversee a $53 million education budget. There are 5,400 students, 1,000 employees. A teachers’ strike is looming. The total cost of one teacher to taxpayers? $93,500. Since 2006, teachers got a raise of up to $11,500, while important programs for kids are being cut.

Taxpayers are not milking cows. Children are not bargaining chips. Children are our precious asset, our future.

I am for accountability, transparency. I want teachers to have the freedom to teach and decent (not outrageous) salaries.

How can we make better teachers? Let them spend the summer at Simon Fraser University, with the whole family, learning from the best. The campus is unused during the summer holidays, anyway. It would bring tremendous value to teachers and children without burdening taxpayers. Teachers, I’m sure, would gladly cover the reasonably low cost.

The “classrooms too big” myth: Why not use the best students in each class to help those lagging behind? This concept already exists and is so successful that it is being exported to other schools.

Union leaders claim it is not about money and that they care about our children. How should parents and taxpayers feel? There are many, many British Columbians who make a fraction of the money teachers make and have a few weeks of holidays instead of months, yet walk through life with dignity. Taxpayers, parents, (decent) teachers: fight for kids, protect your tax dollars!

Yes, money talks — but the truth sometimes prevails. Only voters can right the wrongs, defend children and safeguard tax dollars.

If you trust me, vote me in.

Vladimir Certik is seeking election as the South Rural trustee for the School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of education.

• • •

The Advance asked each candidate for Creston town council and mayor, Regional District of Central Kootenay director and School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) trustee — as well as acclaimed directors Garry Jackman (Area A) and Larry Binks (Area C) — to submit about 300 words to describe their goals, background, qualifications, concerns — whatever mattered to them. Of the 27 candidates, only two, Jackman and Creston town council candidate Louis Mihaly, chose not to make a submission.

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