The Nelson Star contacted the five candidates vying for seats on the School District 8 board and asked them to answer two questions regarding the November 15 civic election.
The two questions are:
1. Why are you running?
2. What do you feel is the biggest educational issue in the district?
1. In answer to your first question, I am running for trustee because
(1) I would like to see district resource centres re-opened in rural schools. Nelson students enjoy many resources that rural students do not, thus creating an unequal system of education.
(2) I would like to have more emphasis on the Reading by Grade 3 program. Statistics show that most students who do not read accurately by the end of Grade 3, drop out of school before acquiring a high school graduation diploma.
(3) I would like to see more emphasis on proper grammar, spelling and sentence construction being taught in the elementary school English program.
(4) I would like to see more funding allocated to special education and have those students taught by professionally trained teachers, rather than by volunteers.
(5) I would also like to see funds allocated so schools that have lost librarians, special education teachers and EAS are able to get them back.
(6) I would like to see report cards contain clear, meaningful comments about a student’s achievements.
2. In answer to your second question, aside from woeful funding by the province, a very important issue is to return to the class size and composition formula of 2002, before the provincial government illegally changed those provisions in the contract.
1. Everyone has a stake in the future of public education, as a parent of a young child I have a very personal one. My daughter will graduate from high school in 2032, I want to ensure that her generation has a strong, vibrant and resilient public education system to prepare them to prosper in this changing word.
As a trained educator and proud new father, I will infuse new energy into local public education policy and bring the interests and voice of today’s parents to the school board.
2. Ensuring public education is flexible and responsive enough to meet the evolving needs of students. Equally important is increasing public engagement in the educational process. To meet changing student needs, the district needs to foster innovation. Programs like Atlas and the Wildflower school that respond to different learning styles should be cultivated and expanded.
The board also needs to work within its budgets to ensure facilities including Trafalgar are appropriate for student success. Engaging the community on educational issues ensures new ideas and values come to the board table; this is essential to making the system responsive to the needs of our students.
1. In response to the question of why I am running for the office of school trustee I present the following.
To me, providing a good education for our children is the key to opening their “door of opportunity” in life. I believe that my background in education as teacher, vice-principal, principal, and superintendent has prepared me well for this position.
I am very aware of all the contributors that are needed to provide the safe and caring environment where student learning takes place. I am also cognizant of the fact that for the contributions to be most effective there needs to be harmony amongst the contributors.
Therefore, in order for us to provide the best possible learning environment for our students, positive board/staff /community working relations need to be in place. For me, as a board member, maintaining a positive and supportive working climate is key.
2. I believe it’s the following: Government budget downsizing and contract stripping has resulted in the loss of student support services in a variety of areas and in some situations loss of programs. It is my hope that working collectively, we may see this reversed.
North Shore/East Shore
1. K-12 education needs many voices combining to passionately advocate for its success. Our district has many people working tirelessly to create a strong, vibrant education system for our children and youth. I would like to celebrate these efforts.
I would like to be a part of the voice that speaks to the provincial government about our needs. I am running because I have a desire for my community to be discussing education because we all benefit from it.
2. We need to focus on the positive. We need hope and a sense of accomplishment. I believe that if we can refocus on successes, and shine light on the joys of education, we can move forward to address the challenges facing us today. The district needs more people involved.
We need more volunteers in the schools, more parents involved with PAC, and more people lobbying the government. Our community needs to be strong, positive, and collective. I want to celebrate education, so that people are attracted to it and wish to become involved.
1. This is a question I have been grappling with for the past three years. These have been my most challenging since I first became involved with the school board in 1998.
Most recently in evaluating this, I have come to realize that not only are my core beliefs solid, they have been significantly strengthened.
Public education has to be seen as the vital asset that it is! We need to provide our children with the tools to deal with their and our future! We need to take care of those who are taking care of our students! For these reasons I will continue to be available and responsive to you and for our children.
2. Sufficient funding — yes, always, improving employee morale — equally important, but what I really believe is most important is attaining and fortifying public attention, interest, awareness and support for our public education system.
Every adult should be paying attention! Every aspect of society is affected by public education! Every adult should be speaking up and supporting it and those who deliver it! Where we are now and where we are going is dependent upon and influenced by our voices. Please support your trustee, Lenora Trenaman November 15.