Bio: Curtis Bendig
Trained as a teacher, Curtis Bendig is hoping to bring a fresh voice and new perspective to the school board. Bendig is committed to encouraging innovation within the school district and supports the continued expansion and integration of alternative methods of teaching and learning.
“The challenges students face today are very different from a generation ago,” Bendig says. “It is important that the public education system is open to change.”
Professionally, Bendig has worked to improve the education system, prioritizing the needs of both teachers and learners as a councillor of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation. Teaching has led him to new experiences in Japan and Ottawa where Bendig had the opportunity to learn firsthand about the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to education.
Curtis’ experiences are not limited to education. Working in the retail, business and financial services industries have given him an in-depth understanding of the workforce young graduates are entering. An active community member, Bendig currently sits on the board of directors of the Kootenay Carshare Co-op, runs his own business, SeaBend Health Products, and works as the branch ambassador at the local CIBC.
In 2007, Curtis and his fiancé Tessa moved to Nelson and quickly fell in love with the Kootenays. The amazing opportunities for outdoor recreation and unique sense of community make Nelson home. They are now looking to the future, and planning a Kootenay wedding next summer.
Bendig aims to harness his passion for education to make a positive impact on current and future generations of students.
Top 3 issues
1. Innovation. Education needs to evolve, to continue to meet the changing needs of our students. In order to evolve, it needs to be open to and infused with new ideas. Bendig supports the continued expansion and integration of alternative methods teaching and learning. The world is changing at an incredible rate, and the expectations and challenges that students face when they leave school are changing just as fast. No one student learns in the same way as another; each has a distinct learning style and distinct needs, and the “four walls and a chalkboard” method is not for everyone. Kootenay Lake School District already has some amazing programs and initiatives including the Distance Education School of the Kootenays (DESK), the Atlas Program and Wildflower School. These programs are great examples of schools evolving to meet the needs of students, Curtis would like to see these and other equally innovative programs encouraged and supported.
2. Sustainability. The school district needs to remain both fiscally and environmentally sustainable. Building a sustainable future will be one of the greatest challenges for the current generation of students. Bendig supports a public education system that both exhibits and promotes responsible environmental stewardship. He believes in a fiscally responsible public education system that meets the needs of today’s learners while anticipating the needs of those to come. The school district must make fiscally responsible decisions that do not compromise future budgets in the name of current spending.
3. Community. Curtis believes that communities should be involved in shaping the direction of public education in their area. The Kootenays are home to many talented and creative people with vast reserves of knowledge and diverse opinions. Bendig plans to work with families to improve public education for their children. A strong public education system is incredibly important to the economic and cultural well being of a community. Curtis will push for better funding for public education from all levels of government to keep our city economically and culturally vibrant.