Tonight the West Vancouver Sports Field User Groups are holding an all candidates meeting as follows:
Date and Time: October 30, 2014 at 6:45 p.m.
Location: West Vancouver Legion, Upper Hall, 580 18th Street, West Vancouver
School trustee candidates will not participate in the debate, but like last night in Lions Bay we will be there to hand out materials and have some informal discussions ahead of the meeting.
On Saturday November 1, I will be attending the all candidates meeting on Bowen Island:
Date and Time: November 1, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
Location: Bowen Island Community School Gym.
The Bowen island meeting will offer baby sitting in the Community Use Room located next door to the Gym and complimentary coffee, tea and cookies will also be available. School trustee candidates will make short presentations and hand out materials aheads of this meeting. More details here. Look forward to both events!
Kristi Blakeway, a principal in Maple Ridge, and West Van's own Sean Nosek, were the organizers behind DisruptEd, a professional development day event last Friday and one of the guest speakers was Quest University's David Helfand. The theme of the event was to showcase examples of schools and ideas that push the limits of what is possible in education and that is exactly what Quest has been doing.
The Squamish-based university has been making some waves over the last few years, in particular since it is focusing on exactly one of the key campaign issues the school trustee candidates have been discussing recently, namely how technology is impacting learning. It is the number one issue in my election platform and it is indeed not so much a question of implementing technology or getting the information, it is a matter of how to use and sift through everything that is available these days. Helfand of course can be counted on making a few noteworthy statements that will underline exactly that and I will select these two:
“In the last 10 years, the situation has radically reversed. Information is ubiquitous and it’s free,” Helfand said. That makes an education system focused on giving kids information and having them master it “completely useless in the current world.”
My favourite however is this one:
“A university education today is excellent preparation for a job — in the 19th century,” Helfand told educators. “Everything has changed, except education.”
Of course Helfand is not suggesting the end of universities, his comment is rather that universities, colleges and schools will really have to try and do things in a very different manner. And as prospective trustees we should take that message to heart and engage with our communities to discuss it. I can talk with a bit of direct experience here. Having had the privilege of running one of my tech start-ups out of office space at Quest a few years ago, I can attest that the Squamish-based institution is providing a unique and stimulating approach to learning. More Helfand and more discussions on new approaches to learning please.
Now that the election campaign is in full swing I have changed the layout of this site a bit. The home page is now the 'Education and Election Blog' with regular updates, news and photos. My election platform has moved and can now be found here.
The first two weeks of the campaign for school trustee are now behind me and it was a good start. There were lots of public meetings in West Vancouver where the candidates for school trustee sort of co-campaigned with candidates for West Vancouver's council as well as individual meetings in West Vancouver, Bowen Island and Lions Bay. I want to thank everyone for attending these events, putting questions forward and offering help to further the campaign. I learned a lot and met many new people, giving me some good insights into the three communities that comprise School District #45.
And yes, the press has been out as well with a summary in the North Shore News of the first all candidates meeting organized by the West Vancouver Citizens for Good Government (WVCGG). Both the North Shore News and WVCGG will publish detailed candidate profiles on their respective website shortly. The Lions Bay community website has listed all local candidates including all school trustee candidates here and I am hopeful that Bowen Island's Undercurrent will publish a similar candidate overview.
The WVCGG is a non-partisan community group that informs, empowers and involves residents to participate in elections while at the same time encouraging individuals to run in these elections as candidates. They interviewed all candidates and endorsed a slate of candidates for both council and school board. I am both honoured and humbled to have received their endorsement last Wednesday night. It gives some great momentum to my campaign while at the same time underlining the importance of being accountable to the voters. And that is what elections are all about.