As School Trustee for Creston South Rural these past seven years, people often asked me, “Why do you enjoy being a trustee?” For me the answer is simple. Children inspire me. Children are our future, and investing in them builds hope in our society – not only in our community but globally as well.
In order to invest in the success of all learners, a school district must be fiscally responsible and I’m not afraid to make tough or even unpopular decisions to ensure all students have access to the most resources possible. This is achieved through a transparent budget process that is inclusive of all stakeholders in School District 8. During the past two terms, a governance structure was implemented to do just that.
The Board of Education’s working committees have a membership comprised of senior staff, principals and vice-principals, teachers, CUPE and parents. This ensures that stakeholder groups have a voice and a vote on recommendations brought to the Board of Education. Even more exciting is the recent addition of Student Trustees to our Board table. Having Student Trustees is an initiative I’ve been advocating for a number of years because I felt it vital they had a voice.
As we head into 2019 and prepare for bargaining new collective agreements, we must continually ask ourselves, “How does this affect student learning?” and “Will this lead to success in a nurturing environment?” I will ensure student needs remain at the center of every conversation.
Although my focus is on equal opportunity for all students in an inclusive, nurturing environment, this cannot be achieved without supporting staff development. During the 2018-19 budget process and strategic planning, the Board of Education invested in a professional development plan that will bring world-class leaders in education to our own community.
Another key component of student success is fostering new partnerships and nurturing existing relationships in our community with a focus on wellness and mental health support. In the spring of 2018, the Board of Education opened The Hub at PCSS where students have access to mental health and wellness professionals as well as medical professionals. This was a pilot project for School District 8. I’m proud to have been a part of its implementation and it’s a shining example of how a community can work collaboratively to meet the needs of our youth. I will continue to support our district in preparing all students for an ever-changing world by providing adequate resources to reach their fullest potential.
With a strong focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing, inclusive environment, I believe I am the best choice for Trustee representing Creston South Rural. I’m not directly affiliated with either of our unionized employee groups, and voters can guarantee I will be present for every conversation and decision made in this district without having to excuse myself due to a conflict of interest. My unbiased, open-minded voice will strongly represent all students, staff and taxpayers alike.