Two parents heavily involved in advisory committees at Slocan Valley schools are looking to fill the vacancy on the Kootenay Lake board of education.
Bob Price and Sheri Walsh have submitted nomination papers for next month’s by-election created by Barb Lindsay’s resignation.
Walsh, of Crescent Valley, is a forestry consultant and secretary of the district parent advisory committee. Price, of Bonnington, is a realtor who has chaired the parent committee at Brent Kennedy.
Walsh said she is running because she is concerned about public education. “I’m very passionate about it as one of the great equalizers in society,” she said in an interview. “I have great concerns given budget cuts — or the amount of funding — in delivering the quality of education we would like for all students.”
She pointed to the viability of small schools, particularly W.E. Graham in Slocan, as a key concern. But lately, she’s been “inundated” with calls about school buses arriving late or not at all. “We don’t want to be talking about the logistics of bussing — we want to talk about education. But unfortunately, it’s having an impact on families right now.”
Walsh was involved with the parent committee at Brent Kennedy and Mount Sentinel, which her daughter presently attends. She has also been sitting in on board meetings in her role with the district parent advisory council and said she looks forward “to being a participant as opposed to in the audience.”
Price, meanwhile, said he was motivated to run by a “sense of civic duty.”
“I’ve always been involved with the parent advisory committee, so it seemed like a natural extension,” he told the Star.
Although he wanted to wait to get a sense of the key issues, he said cost pressures and budget reductions are perpetual problems. He also pointed to transportation, childcare, and economics as things that may not be core educational issues but still affect schools.
“A partnership approach needs to be taken. The district seems to be advocating this family of schools approach, and I think that’s good,” he said. “We need schools working with other schools and communities and businesses. We’re being pushed to be more creative and innovative.”
Price’s wife is a teacher and he has a daughter at Mount Sentinel. In addition to his work on the parent advisory committee, he served on a committee looking at ways to preserve Slocan Valley schools with low enrollment.
Candidates have until 4 p.m. Friday to withdraw their names. The election is slated for November 10. The term runs through late 2014.
Lindsay, who was in her second term, resigned in August to take a volunteer position in Zanzibar.
• A by-election is also expected in Silverton after village councillor Christopher Love resigned. He’s moving to Ontario for family reasons.
No date has been set for a vote on his replacement, but the village office says it will be sometime in the new year.