This is the first in a series of candidates that are running in the Oct. 15 civic election. Today, we look at candidates running for the Sooke School District education board in the Milne’s Landing Zone. Candidates – listed in alphabetical order – were asked to provide their occupation and top three issues (up to two words each), and platform (up to 100 words).
• Equitable Access
As a school board, we must ensure that our schools are safe, inclusive, and diverse spaces where students and families feel welcome. As a district, we need to take an active role in dismantling systemic racism to create safe, inclusive, and diverse spaces. I am a long-time Sooke resident, EMCS graduate, and parent of two current SD62 students, with nearly a decade as a parent volunteer across the district and more than two decades of community volunteerism. Equitable access to education is my passion and has been a cornerstone of that advocacy.
I am very concerned that B.C. students are graduating high school without the ability to read, write or do basic math. Our future world will present both competition that is unprecedented and an acute need for critical thinking. Teachers need to teach, and we must support them in achieving the goal of graduating students that are knowledgeable and capable. As a native woman with years of experience in social work and education, I know that sloganism and political agendas do not and will never enhance student achievement. Parents have to be included with 100% transparency and input.
Occupation: Retired educator
• Classroom support
• Adequate resources
• Parental rights
Employed in schools for 30 years, I have watched students increasingly struggle to learn fundamental skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. The growing variety of learning issues demands increased support assistants for teachers. The financial allocation should be carefully reviewed, and resources directed to students’ educational needs as a priority, especially in the primary grades where the need is greatest. Parental involvement is key to successful educational experiences. Transparency regarding the curriculum is essential. Parents must also be effectively alerted to any issues of concern, whether emotional, social, or academic, to ensure maximum support and success for each child.
Occupation: Public servant
I value connecting learners to the greater community, creating an excellent learning environment, and providing safe, engaging, and inclusive spaces for all children and youth to grow. Being on Sooke council for eight years has prepared me to understand complex financial plans, capital planning, and implementing strategic plans while considering the diverse needs of our community. I have a wonderful working relationship with SD62 staff across our district. I’ll be able to hit the ground running and provide leadership at the board level at a time when many experienced trustees are retiring from office.
• Better Science
• Parental Involvement
• Individualized instruction
As a child and family specialist physician, children referred to me had medical and psychological complaints stemming mainly from excessive anxiety. Less confusion and reassurance based on good science will reduce fears and help them concentrate. Parents can provide guidance and be encouraged to participate in classes. Every child has an individual learning style which, when understood, should guide all his/her teachers. As a life- long teacher (university professor, family teacher and recognized scientist ), I can help assess quality. Having been a school trustee twice (SD 61), a university and hospital department head, I will ensure that money is efficiently allocated.
Occupation: Piano teacher
• Quality Education
• Teacher Support
• Parental Engagement
Parents are rightly concerned that our students are leaving school without the fundamental skills to succeed in this competitive world. Recent statistics for B.C. student performance provide grim confirmation. Under the B.C. School Act, the first responsibility of school boards is “the improvement of student achievement in the school district.” This goes unmentioned in our district’s current strategic plan. Quality education needs to be the first priority for our schools, and we must allocate the resources teachers need to provide this to all children. Our students deserve to have access to the best education possible to fulfill their unique potential.
Occupation: School trustee
• Health and wellness
• Climate change
With two young children in the Sooke School District and a history of working in education, I am devoted to the educational outcomes of students in our district. I hope to continue my work chairing the provincial trustees’ Climate Change Working Group, compiling data and resources to support districts across the province to meet emissions targets. In addition, I hope to complete the motions I brought forward in our district on hiring equity and outdoor learning. My experience with the Education Policy, Governance, Resources and Personnel committees in the district will help with informed decision-making on a new board.
• For election night results, and more coverage in the lead-up to the vote, go to sookenewsmirror.com.