School District 22 Trustee candidate.
I would like to announce my candidacy for SD22 School Trustee in the upcoming election.
I am running for school trustee with the support of my husband, a teacher in SD83 and my two wonderful children, both who attend elementary school in Vernon.
My background is retail management and banking. I have been an active member of the school PAC for the last two years.
I have also been involved as the DPAC rep for Beairsto and spend much of my time volunteering at the school.
I represented Beairsto, by preparing a school board presentation for the formation of a 5th French Immersion
Kindergarten class for the 2017/2018 school year, which was granted.
I was also the lead member who advocated the school board for a crossing guard, which was granted this school year.
It has been a great experience being on DPAC.
As DPAC rep, I have learned a lot about the many schools in the district and the different challenges they face.
I have been a part of the school calendar committee and part of a roundtable discussion with the topic of the future of French Immersion.
As a parent, my goal is and has always been the education, well being and safety of my children.
To that degree, I have an interest in their future, as well as the future of the other children in this school district. I am passionate about making this school district, the best it can be.
"As a school trustee, I will advocate for all the children in the district. I will listen to all groups and make the best decisions possible. I will spend the public's money wisely with the best interest of the children in mind."
1) Why should voters cast a ballot for you October 20?
Voters should vote for me on Oct.20/2018 for the following reasons.
I have two wonderful children attending elementary school, which means I have a vested interest in their education and future.
As you may have read in my bio I have had many different jobs that will help me in this position but nothing like the past few years volunteering in the school and attending board meetings.
I have been part of Parent Advisory Council (PAC) in a DPAC role.
This gave me the opportunity to listen and get to know some of the inner workings of the district and its partner groups.
I made a presentation to the school board for a 5th French immersion kindergarten class which was granted for the 2017/2018 school year.
This was due to a limited number of spots and did not affect my children.
I could have walked away and said oh well to the other parent’s, but I didn’t. I saw a need and wanted to try to fix it and help.
This past year I worked with another parent to get a crossing guard for the 27th street and 35th Avenue intersection in front of Beairsto.
That too was granted. But not without 5 months of prep work, which included research, collaboration with other groups and a survey.
All this information was put into a 30-page proposal. Just to note my kids took the bus.
I will make sure to listen to concerns and work to provide a solution.
If I do not know the answer you better believe I will look into it and do the research. All cannot be done without the whole board.
I love working with others and cannot wait to get started.
2) What is the biggest issue facing the Vernon School District, and as a member of the board of education, how would you work to address this issue?
I believe there are few issues facing the school district currently. One of which is bussing/transportation.
To my knowledge, the annual operating budget for the district has not been matched to inflation.
This creates most of the tension related to cost issues. As such, this school district is now charging $300 per child a year to take the bus (courtesy riders only).
As stated above my kids took the bus, but no longer do so.
I am lucky to have a job that allows me to pick them up from school and my husband takes them in the morning on his way to school (he is a teacher in SD83).
I believe the school board should collaborate more with parents and CUPE on this topic.
I think as a board we need to dig deeper into the budget process and ask more questions.
As a board, we may need to look at other solutions that will be beneficial to all involved. With the cost of bussing, we have gone from 1750 courtesy riders to 823.
This means more congestion in our school parking lots and their surrounding areas.
This impacts the safety of our children and the environment.
I think the other issue in our district is the lack of EA’s. We as a district need to hire more and look at retention.
Having a few at full time and rest at part-time is not putting them to good use. If you hire more EA’s but are not giving your current one’s sufficient hours, this will make the current EA’s feel unvalued.
3) Balancing a budget while providing quality education means sometimes making difficult decisions that affect the lives of young children. Can you provide an example of a time when you were forced to make a difficult decision that affected the lives of many?
As mentioned in the answer to the first question I worked with another parent to develop a proposal for a crossing guard for the intersection at Beairsto.
It was a long process to compile the information.
After the proposal was granted I went to the budget meetings to see it through.
There is a cost involved and this was some of the information we had compiled.
We talked to outside companies and received quotes for services provided.
There were quotes for insurance for these companies.
We spoke to CUPE to figure out how much it would be for them to provide the crossing guard.
In the end, I am happy we did not need to go with an outside source that would have cost the PAC (the parent’s money).
As a PAC we can focus on other things for the children at the school.
Supporting this initiative provides directly for the safety of a large portion of students who attend Beairsto and walk to school daily.
My own children do not benefit from the crossing guard, but this was a very important safety issue for the school.