Why are you running for school board trustee?
I am not a career politician. In fact, I am not a politician at all. I grew up in the public school system in Cambridge, as well as our children, and so much has changed over time, not all for the better. I am running for Public School Trustee because I strongly believe all students equally, and without favour, deserve the best and strongest education that we can provide.
I will be dedicated to doing what is best for the students, supporting a curriculum that is effective, enhances student learning, and promotes the basic principles and real-life skills that prepare our children for their future. As an alternative to college and university, trades provide essential services for which there will always be a need and why it is important to encourage trades as a solid career path. Trades offer students well-paying, meaningful careers and I will support and promote opportunities that bring back skilled trade classes for students.
What do you think the role of a school board trustee is, and what attributes do you have to offer?
School board trustees are elected representatives of the public, accountable to their electorate, and the community's advocate for public education. A trustee is to maintain a focus on student achievement and not on imposing personal political viewpoints. The fact that I am a parent, a grandparent, and a volunteer in the community motivates me to do my best to ensure we give our children the best education possible.
Below are some of the attributes I have to offer:
1. Employment background within the transportation industry, and in management, working with many trades, giving me the skills needed to set policy priorities and understand fiscal responsibility
2. Understand the importance of identifying relevant data and utilizing it in a meaningful way in order to establish accountability at all levels for student achievement
3. Proven fiscal, leadership and life skills experience to meet the many difficult challenges facing our board and schools
As you look at education in the years ahead, what do you think are the most important issues?
1. School transportation - proactive measures needed to minimize the worsening situation of school bus driver shortages
2. Extra supports, including mental health - amplified from 2 years of class disruptions
3. Technology and skilled trades - with the "baby boomers" retiring, there is high demand in the skilled trades - it's important to bring back skilled trades to the classrooms
4. Quality education and curriculum to prepare all children for a bright future - implementing new and effective strategies to help students with learning disabilities
5. Student safety - at school and going to and from school, with the increasing safety concerns within community
There were many in the community who had witnessed difficult relations within WRDSB this past year. What will you do differently to help heal and move forward?
The foundation of a successful school board is comprised of trustees, parents, and teachers working together to make informed decisions, without imposing political views, to promote a high quality education for all children, equally, and without favour, which includes:
1. Supporting teachers, partnering with parents, advocating for students - where educators teach, parents parent and students thrive
2. Keeping the money in the classrooms - being respectful, responsible and accountable of taxpayers dollars
3. Promote transparency and open communication within the board - allowing differing opinions to be expressed politely without fear of repercussion
4. Introduce town halls for open discussion - rebuilding better communication between the school boards, the teachers, and the parents