So I am running to be re-elected as school trustee for the West Vancouver School District, which comprises West Vancouver, Bowen Island and Lions Bay. As part of that, I would like to address the three key questions that constituents ask. Here we go:
Why am I running again?
Because our school system is the core of our society where we educate and get the next generation ready for entering into a rapidly changing and uncertain world. Trustees make a direct impact on this. I have done this for the last four years and together with the other trustees we accomplished a lot. Consensus, calm and reasoned debate as well as respect of all viewpoints define my approach.
My background in business and living all over the world has enabled me to give a unique contribution to this. I get energy from it, I meet with parents, educators and community members and translate their feedback and concerns into action. I really enjoy it and when you enjoy something it generates energy that in turn energizes other people. I believe that the administration, teachers and support staff have been able to work in a very positive environment as a result and consequently been able to deliver the best possible education for the children in our district. We have something very unique in West Vancouver and I want to ensure we preserve and keep improving it.
What was accomplished during the first term?
Quite a bit, a selection:
It is not always visible to the outside world, but as trustees we do a lot to ensure all these things get realized on an ongoing basis.
What are the goals for the next four years?
During the last election I campaigned on
I have worked hard on all five and significant progress was made in each area. Our district is stronger than ever, in educational terms but also in financial terms.
More importantly, there are a few new things on the horizon that will get attention and I will add these to my five core points. The most important one is post-secondary learning and careers. Where do your kids go? Why are so many failing at university? Where is the increasing ‘gap year’ trend coming from? These are vital questions and our schools have to start playing a role in tracking post-secondary careers and see how we can better prepare our students for their lives in the challenging world that awaits them when they graduate from school. This needs more attention and work.
And generally, with the coarsening of the tone of the political debate I will continue to argue and strive for reasoned debate and respect of all viewpoints. We have been good at that in our district and we need to ensure that we will continue doing that and ensure our provincial partners will play by the same standards. At the same time there is a round of bargaining with the teachers union ahead of us and I feel that we should continue to build consensus and avoid the dramas we have witnessed in this area in BC in the recent past.
The past four years have been good in our school district, but we have to work hard to preserve that and improve things where we can.