Thank you and… Congratulations!

Thank you all school trustee candidates for putting your name forward!

Congratulations to the following parents/former students who became trustee candidates for the first time on Saturday night!

 

Mission

  • Tracy Loffler

 

Victoria

  • Jordan Watters
  • Rob Paynter
  • Ann Whiteaker

 

Central Saanich

  • Nancy Borden

 

North Vancouver

 

Terrace

  • Sean Bujtas

 

Chilliwack

  • Paul McManus

 

Coquitlam

  • Carol Cahoon
  • Chuck Denison

 

Port Coquitlam

  • Michael Thomas

 

Anmore/Belcarra

  • Kerri Palmer Isaak

 

New Westminster

  • Kelly Slade Kerr

 

Vancouver

  • Janet Fraser
  • Stacey Robinson

 

Langley

  • David Tod

 

Richmond

  • Sandra Nixon

 

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows

 

Nanaimo

  • Stephanie Higginson
  • Natasha Bob
  • Scott Kimler
  • Steve Rae
  • Noah Routley
  • Jeff Solomon

 

Sooke

  • Ravi Parmar (former student)

 

Fort St. John

  • William Snow (former EA for the district)
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Mission

The Mission Teachers Union has published their candidate “report card”. Each candidate running for school trustee was given a number of questions and asked to respond. Their responses were recorded and a group of teachers graded them.

Click here to see the document.

 

 

The following candidates were brought forward by Scott Susin, a teacher from Mission.

  • Scott Young
  • Rick McKamey
  • Edie Heinrichs
  • Jim Taylor
  • Shelley Carter

 

The following candidates were brought forward by Mel Harris, a teacher from Mission.

  • Jim Taylor: brings experience as a current board member and former teacher who worked in special ed/alternate ed.
  • Kathleen MacKillop: She’s a new voice who will bring a fresh perspective. She has experience working with marginalized youth, particularly First Nations, and will advocate for better services.
  • Phil Cooper: He has a vision for the district. He has practical skills to further this vision, both as a tradesperson and a former trades teacher. He has the connections needed to network and bring increased apprenticeship/partnership opportunities to the district.
  • Scott Young: A strong parent voice. He listens to parent concerns and respectfully brings them forward. He has been active in the district as a PAC chair for Summit and DPAC co-chair. He values consultation and transparency and will hold the board accountable.
  • Shelly Carter– I don’t know much about her; she’s a rural trustee, but Scott vouches for her.

Mission – Q&A with the candidates

This is the information gathered by Courtney Cardy, who is a member of the BC Voters Supporting BC Teachers and Public Education Facebook group. Thank you so much for sharing these with us!

 

 

Her message:

Hi (Trustee Candidate’s Name),

I am a very concerned mother. I had my son in Silverdale Elementary and just went through the worst ordeal ever. The funding for the Mission district is horribly low and the students and teachers are hurting because of it. Silverdale was many years overdue for the renovations that they took on this year. They brought my asthmatic son back into a classroom that was unsafe for him, as well the teachers (who, by the way, went to Worksafe and the teachers union about it). I was furious! I was pretty much told if I didn’t like it to take him somewhere else. I had to enroll him in a school in Maple Ridge, which isn’t even a part of my district. I pay several thousand dollars a year to live in Mission and I cant even enroll my son in a school that is safe for him. I was bullied by the staff, the parents, the superintendent and the current Trustee. I am furious! Things need to change around here!

My questions to you are as follows:

1) Where did you stand on the teachers strike? Were you helping “Hold the Line”?

2) How do you plan on advocating for schools on the poor budget you will be given?

3) Do you plan on playing an active political roll when advocating for our schools, such as: fighting for larger budgets, speaking out against the crumble of our education system?

4) How do you feel about Christy Clarks “LNG Blueprint for education”?

5) Do you feel it’s important to bring in as many children that have gone elsewhere for education, back into the district? If so how do you plan on doing this?

6) What would your ideal plan for Stave Falls Elementary be? I feel a huge amount of district money is being used to upkeep a fairly new school and yet they just put an unfathomable amount into an old run down building (Silverdale) that needs way more work than what’s been done. Yet a short distance away in Whonnock sits a school that holds several Mission students, but is in the Maple Ridge district because parents refuse to send their children to such a school (Silverdale)…

7) Mission schools are really lacking right now, what will you do as a trustee to make this the district the “one” to want to be a part of?

8) What are the key issues you plan on tackling as the Trustee?

I’m trying to make an educated decision on my vote, so I thank you very much for your time,

Sincerely,

Courtney Cardy

 

Their responses, in the order she received them:

Shelley Carter:

Thanks Courtney for your email. First off I have to tell you that I am the rural trustee east of Mission. So if you live in Silverdale you cannot vote for me.
I would urge you to read the candidates page in the Record paper this Friday. I will have my ad and info in there. As to some of your questions I come from a PAC background so I am very supportive of parents and staff in all of our schools. I find I am the parent voice on the board being involved with PACs and DPAC over the 22 years my children attended school. My son just finished 2 years ago graduating from Hatzic Sec. so still quite involved in my schools.
Please always remember you are the only true advocate for your child.
Thanks
Shelley.
Tracy Loffler:

Hi Courtney,

Thank-you for your email. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences with the Mission school district. I can understand how upsetting that would have been for you and your son.

I’m only able to answer a few of your questions at this time, but I will answer some now and get back to you on the rest.

1. In regards to the teachers strike, I was not a trustee at the time, but I was (and still am) a concerned parent. My position on this is that both sides behaved badly (Govt & BCTF) and the kids were the ones that suffered. Neither party was blameless. That being said, I do think that education is underfunded in BC and I appreciate the teachers that went without paycheques (my brother is one of those teachers) I would like to see these labour disputes changed so that the kids don’t become pawns and miss school time. I was not out “holding the line” but I respect teachers and the work that teachers do.

2. You’re right that the funding is inadequate. I am hopeful that now the board has paid off its deficit, there will be some additional money so that we are not just barely scraping by. I would like to see the district working with businesses and other community partner groups to come up with ways to generate creative funding. I believe that Prospera Credit Union here in Mission recently donated IPads to Cherry Hill Elementary through some kind of partnership, and I’d like to see that kind of thing happening at a district level, not just in select schools. I’d also like to see us accessing grant money to bring in new programs and equipment.

8. My primary focus s to improve communication between the Board and parents/public. I would like to see us to a “push” style of communication, rather than having to go and find that information ourselves, and use technology to actively inform and engage parents. We must ensure that our standardized communication protocols are getting information to all everyone involved. We need to improve the relationship between the board and the community, and this will foster more inclusive processes and enhance public engagement. Everyone needs to be included in the decision-making process.

That’s all I have time for at the moment (sorry) but as I mentioned, I will get back to you on the rest. If you need clarification on anything, or if you would prefer to discuss this in person, let me know.

Thanks so much.

Tracy Loffler

 

Earl Babich:

Hi Courtney,

I am well aware of your circumstance, I asked the question of why did we loose you to Maple Ridge and the answer was air quality during construction. So I asked why are we doing construction during the school year and the answer was the construction was more than initially planned, and it is standard to renovate while children attend school.

All of the answers were unacceptable to me.

You are the exact target parent I am trying to keep in Mission Public Schools, someone who expects better or the best for their children. I actually do not know how many children you have but nonetheless every child from Mission should be educated in Mission at levels equal or better than other districts and private schools.

Here is my campaign brochure which will answer some of your questions, I also have a write up under election and school trustees in the missioncityrecord newspaper or online.

I will have to get back to you more at a later time.

Thank you for your concern and I hope you can help me make Mission Public Schools Only The Best for Our Children. – Earl Babich

 

Rick McKamey:

Thank you for your questions. I am very interested in answering them all for you and in my pamphlet and on my rick McKamey for trustee face book page I feel I have touched on them. However I do wish to answer your questions in detail to help you with your decision. My thoughts are my answers would fit well in your decision making. My problem is I was home late last night from the meetings I attended and I have a busy day today. I promise you I will sit down tonight and answer them with careful consideration they deserve. If I rush them I will not do you or I any justice.

I hope you understand. I promise that tonight I will respond in detail

With respect,
Rick McKamey

 

Scott Young:

Hi Courtney.
I’m sorry to hear of your disheartening experience with Silverdale, the district, and a Trustee.

I’ll try to answer your questions.
1) my two personal position statements during the strike were:

The government has disrespected teachers by illegally removing class size and composition from a contract teachers bargained fairly for. This act is inexcusable.

And I respect the teachers right to strike and I respect them for sacrificing their own pay to try to make education better.

2) There is a long history in our province of different tactics being used by boards to advocate for more funding. None have been successful. Until the government changes we will keep getting the same response. “Some districts can work within the funding formula, why can’t you ? You just need to manage it better” I will continue to advocate as the current and past boards have, but until the government changes my expectations are low .

3) answered in q 2 in regards to budgets and facility grants.

4) Great idea to provide opportunity for trade/skill related jobs in industry. Terrible idea to divert current budgets to do this. I am 100% against redirecting education funds to cater to the LNG industry. Bring money in to do it and I’ll be all for it.

5) Bring them in? We can’t seem to slow them from leaving. Traditional school was not the answer. Reconfiguring our secondary schools will be positive in the long term but the change will cause people to leave as well. French immersion students are leaving too. First we need to work on doing what we do well. Quality keeps families here more than choice schools do.

6) I don’t have a plan for the west Mission situation. However, if change is to be considered I would insist on having the community engaged in the conversation well before any further decisions are made- especially staff and parents. I believe community decisions are the best ones.

7) Without increased funding there is only one path to make our schools better for the kids. Engagement. Engaged teachers, engaged parents, engaged communities fill in the gaps of our underfunded system. So many teachers are generous with their time and resources, parents volunteering raises the quality of our kid’s experience, community groups partnering with our schools enhances opportunities. Instead our district has alienated you, an obviously passionate and engaged parent. I will work to foster an environment of mutual respect, inclusion, and cooperation. See my website to learn how I have already been doing these things. scottfortrustee.com

8) Improving the process of how our board makes decisions.

Developing a digital technology plan for our district.

Please see my videos at:
http://www.scottfortrustee.com/videos.html

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to ask questions. So few people do.

Scott Young

 

Earl Babich:

Hi Courtney,

Just to clarify, I am running in the election for the one rural candidate position on the Board of Education. Only voters who live in Hatzic Prairie, Dewdney, Deroche and Lake Errock can vote for me.

I would think that you live in Silderdale or at least near Silverdale. You can help me get elected by forwarding the information I sent you to any friends and family you have that live in the communities I mentioned above.

The Trustees that I recommend in the Mission District are:
Rick McKamey
Scott Young
Tracy Loffler and
Phillip Cooper since he would like to re-open Stave Falls.

I am one of the only candidates that wants to devise a strategy to attract parents and students from Mission being educated outside the district back, this would be done by offering an education or specific programs that will be the best available in the province.
For example a fine art program or chef training since the district employs teachers in these fields that are among the best in the province.

If you have more questions moving forward do not hesitate to contact me again.

Regards,

Earl Babich

 

Tracy Loffler:

Hi Courtney,

Sorry for the delayed response.

3. I will advocate for our students as best I can, while maintaining a respectful working relationship with the Ministry of Education and staff. To what extent we intervene will also be determined by the other members of the Board. Of course I want more funding, better programming for our kids, but being a new candidate, I’m not entirely sure about the process in which School Boards communicate with the Ministry. I’m willing to learn though.

4. My understanding is that the Blueprint’s primary focus is on post-secondary reform, not K-12. As a school trustee, my focus will be on our district and our K-12 schools. That being said, we have to ensure success for our students as they graduate into the workforce or post-secondary, so we would have to make sure that the programs we offer in our local school contribute to success after grade 12. Once elected to the Board, I will be able to investigate the impact of the LNG blueprint for education.

5. Yes, we need to encourage students to either return to school in Mission. Funding is based on a per student basis, so every time we lose a student to another district, we lose funding. I believe the addition of our choice schools (Traditional and Arts Based) will encourage students to stay in the district. The other key piece is improving the relationship between the Board and the public. If we improve communication and improve on the processes of how decisions are made, I think we will retain more students.

6. I don’t really have enough information to take a stand on the Stave Falls Elementary situation. On the surface, it doesn’t make sense to me to renovate an old school while there is newer building sitting empty, but again, I am not aware of the rationale that made the decision to close Stave Falls in the first place. I will speak with some of the current trustees and the superintendent and see if I can get some more information.

7. As mentioned, I think the addition of our choice schools will make Mission a more desirable place to go to school. The reconfiguration of the high schools into one secondary school and two middle schools will also help keep students in our district. I also want to get creative and work with partner groups to access funding and grants for special programs. Mission’s geographical location, being so close to Abbotsford and Maple Ridge, is a factor in students leaving the district. If parents want private education for religious or cultural reasons, there is not a lot we can do about it. But if parents are removing their children due to lack of programming or lack of faith in the district (Board) as a whole, then we need to take a close look at how to improve that. I think better communication and more inclusive decision-making processes will improve it.

Your questions helped me realize something about myself and what I can offer to the Board. I am not a teacher, I haven’t worked in the education system and I am a first-time candidate. I have a lot to learn, but I am eager and willing to do the work. I have the time (I am self-employed and it is part-time) so I can go to the schools and attend meetings during the day and give it my full attention. Where I feel I can really contribute is in the actual functioning of the Board itself. My philosophy is collaboration and cooperation, and am genuinely interested in everyone`s point of view, not pushing my own agenda. I gather as much information, from as many sources as I can to make informed decisions. As one of the youngest candidates, I have a fresh perspective and understand what is important to parents.

It can be difficult to convey everything in writing. If you would like to meet in person, let me know. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for doing the work to make an informed decision.

Kind Regards,

Tracy Loffler

 

Rick McKamey:

1) Where did you stand on the teachers strike? Were you helping “Hold the Line”?

Courtney, I visited our teachers on the picket lines regularly through this past strike.  I also posted regularly on time lines of many teachers showing my support. I also took coffee to some of the picket lines for teachers especially on the cooler and drizzly days. I was showing my support where ever and whenever I could. You didn’t have to take up their cause to feel the anxiety and the challenges they faced in this strike. The cause in my opinion was justified as class size and composition was truly the issue behind it and it cannot be funded at the present levels given especially that our province is funding our system at approximately $1000 per student under the national average.

The strike was a delicate issue and a lot of stress was taken on by our teachers.  They held their position well and deserve full marks for that.  But after it was over I knew they had to get back in front of our children and students in the classroom. That is what drove me. I felt that my support and being there with them indicated that I appreciated their position and further I felt it would help them to understand that the community cared about them as individuals for what they gave up through those months.  I felt that that would help them to keep a comforted heart and that would ease them back into the classroom when the strike was settled. 

2) How do you plan on advocating for schools on the poor budget you will be given?

Courtney… this is a loaded question… But it certainly is a good one and I appreciate that you have posed it.

We are at the mercy of the decisions of the Ministry of Education should we continue to simply rely on the funding formulas. There are a few things that come to mind and many more that I will be a part of as I join the team of trustees on the Board here at MPSD.  At this time I believe we best work at curbing our declining enrollment by developing programs here in MPSD that will attract many of the students back to our district.  I believe that the re configuration will be a first step however we are losing students to other districts and private schools because we are not meeting needs that we must strive much harder to meet

I would certainly support submitting the mandatory compliance budget in this next budget cycle but I also believe a needs budget must accompany it in order for us to state what the costs of educating students in our district truly are.  I believe that we must not only advocate but we must lobby with vigor, our Minister of Education to rethink the formulas used in our province to fund our students in the public system.

I believe we must advocate and motivate all districts in this province to do supply a second needs based budget for their districts and I believe we must unite in our efforts to lobby the Minister of Education to this end.

I believe we must be much more innovative in our budgeting process.  There are opportunities with industry and business as well as partnerships with other government agencies and NGO’s as well as service groups to build strong relationships and partnerships.  We must focus more on also building the revenue component of the budgeting process through these partnerships. Budgeting cannot be simply accepting the revenue source of the Ministry of Education and then move straight to deciding how expenditures will fit to it.  It MUST also include us as a District becoming more innovative in finding these revenue streams

3) Do you plan on playing an active political roll when advocating for our schools, such as: fighting for larger budgets, speaking out against the crumble of our education system?

I feel that I have pretty much answered this question for you above Courtney. I would like to add that a solid lobbying group that had all districts in BC united in its approach would best serve advocating to Victoria the need for bringing our district to at least the national average of per pupil funding in this province.  I also believe that it is paramount that was a District we must be more innovative in seeking support from other areas to increase the revenue and we must be more diligent in our allocations of funding to our classrooms.  We must be certain that all fund allocation during budgeting has as much of a positive impact on the classroom level as we can possibly allow. Advocating for our students in every way possible within the guidelines of policy, procedure and budgeting would be paramount for me. Our students are our future here in Mission.

4) How do you feel about Christy Clarks “LNG Blueprint for education”?

I must hold my opinion on this at this time Courtney.  I do not have all the facts to offer a qualified answer.  This is out of the control of School Districts as to how this government raises funds to fund public school classrooms in our Province. I can also say from all the years I worked as a senior manager with government that to identify revenues and then apply them to expenditure in the government streaming is impossible and can be very damaging if it were to be so.

I can however offer this.  I managed Fisheries and Environment programs as a career.  My life and manners in which I live it is strongly based on my carbon footprint. Susan and I are both very conscientious of this. Susan as well has built a career around a healthy environment and lives within our First Nations Culture.  Susan has sat on the Pacific Salmon Commissions Fraser River Panel, has spent many years as Chief to our First Nation and is very much involved as the General Manager of our First Nation today.  The LNG Blueprint is massive in scope and is still under review both legally and in continued study.  The information flow is equally as massive. As a man based and driven by science and as a manager in this field I am not studied enough in Christie Clarke’s LNG Blueprint.

I must also add, I cannot see how funding education can be attributed to revenue from any government revenue source.  Christie can say and attach her rhetoric however she sees fit to meet her political needs. But funding for education will always be through the general revenues collected by the Province of British Columbia.

5) Do you feel it’s important to bring in as many children that have gone elsewhere for education, back into the district? If so how do you plan on doing this?

I do think it is important to identify why students have left our district. I believe that this will help us as a Board of Trustees to find solutions to the students leaving us. I feel that we have far more leaving our district for education elsewhere then we have coming to us in our district to receive our education as cross boundaries. 

Our high school reconfiguration is a good first step in holding our students in Mission.  We will without any doubt be able to offer programming that otherwise would not be able to be offered in our district to compete with our neighboring districts and private systems. It will increase value to our academic, arts, sport, trades and many other programs here. But we must continue with this momentum. We must look at why our aboriginal students are leaving our district to programs offered in neighboring districts as well and find a solution to their exodus. I have spoken too many of these students and their parents and believe the resolve is simple and the time is now to correct the issues to not only hold them here but also get them back to our district. Approachability is a very big part of this issue. School closures have caused challenges and sent some elementary students to private schools.  We need to look at the cost to this district of school closures and weigh that to the cost of declining enrollment. We must also recognize that we are a smaller district in this province.  As such we face challenges of declined enrollment that the larger districts do not face. We may need to look at other models of focused learning for schools in our district.  I am not advocating for this however I do believe exit polling of students and parents that are now in other districts may prove to our MPSD that more innovative ways of delivering education to meet these needs may be necessary to hold enrollment.

The statistics are showing that declining enrollment and our community demographics in the MPSD are not necessarily synonymous. By this I mean that we are losing student enrollment at a greater level then our demographics would have us being. The real challenge is that a good percentage of the exiting students are students that excel. Thus it is the value student in the budgeting process that we are losing. We must do more to hold them here with us in our MPSD

6) What would your ideal plan for Stave Falls Elementary be? I feel a huge amount of district money is being used to upkeep a fairly new school and yet they just put an unfathomable amount into an old run down building (Silverdale) that needs way more work than what’s been done. Yet a short distance away in Whonnock sits a school that holds several Mission students, but is in the Maple Ridge district because parents refuse to send their children to such a school (Silverdale)…

There are a number of things we can do with Stave Falls Elementary.  And a decision must be made soon that will bring this facility to our district as a benefit rather than a cash strapping challenge. We have a perfect opportunity to offer an outdoor school at this location.  One that could be a jewel in the eyes of this region. I have a few thoughts on ways to possibly see this come to life.  But a lot of investigating and studying will have to take place to see if it fits our MPSD directions. I will work to build the partnerships to this end should it be a use that would gain support by the Board that is elected. A model of an outdoor school that close to a community forest and on the door step to the park lands along the Stave Lake would lend itself wonderfully for an educational model such as this.

7) Mission schools are really lacking right now, what will you do as a trustee to make this the district the “one” to want to be a part of?

I will attempt to answer this question with the one below Courtney. I believe the two are synonymous in nature. I also feel I would risk being far too repetitious here as all of the questions do overlay.

8) What are the key issues you plan on tackling as the Trustee?

I see a number of problems as being most pressing.

•             I believe a lack of cohesiveness has challenged our Board. Decisions have been sound, however the process of delivering the result has been perceived to be less than adequate.

•             Our district faces challenges in engaging our partner groups. I believe that meaningful two-way communication strategies must be implemented to enhance partner group and community trust.

•             Declining enrolment challenges our district in many ways. I believe reconfiguration is a step toward dealing with some of the challenges; however reconfiguration will have a trickle-down effect throughout our Elementary Schools. Moving grade 7 from our Elementary Schools will put pressure on the district by intensifying declining Elementary School enrolment.

•             Budget is a huge challenge for our district. We simply do not have the funds necessary to deliver the education that our parents and community are demanding and deserve.

•             I believe early identification of developmental, physical, and mental health issues is a challenge for our staff. Our teachers are short on both the tools needed to assist them in identifying these educational challenges and the supports needed to deal with challenges once they are identified. Addressing this is critical if we are to offer the supports we must supply to these students in order for them to be successful in their educational journeys.

My career with federal programs and in management relied on team development. My strength was in developing cohesive and collaborative approaches to problem solving. My leadership style is inclusive and is shored up by my willingness to work as part of a team. I am approachable and open to having teachers, staff, support workers, parents, students, and community engage with me at any time. I have a sound working knowledge of multi-million dollar budgets with experience gained on our Board in the past, as well as in my capacity as Manager of Fisheries and Environmental programs with our federal government. I was a negotiator on the first collective agreements with the International Woodworkers of America and worked in their organizing department. I feel that my experience in business and my contacts in industry will assist our Board in becoming more innovative in the ways we do business and attract partnerships.

I am deeply involved with our Leq:a’mel First Nation (LFN) and have been for many years. My wife Susan and our son, Darrel, have served multiple terms on our Band Council. Darrel is currently a member of LFN Council.  Susan holds the position of General Manager of LFN. I feel this connection will offer great opportunity to our Board should I be elected. My connections with our council here in LFN are tight. Not just with my son but with 3 other members of our council.  All 4 of these young men I have a great deal of respect for and 2 of them elevated their educational goals and careers in environmental programming.  These two found their starts in meaningful careers as managers (one as the general manager) of Seven Generations Environmental consulting. This company has been working on the new hydro line upgrades in twining the power lines from northern BC to the Lower Mainland. Our relationship is strong and thus will be beneficial for my strength at the table as a trustee here in MPSD.  I might add that they have endorsed my campaign for Trustee here in MPSD.

With respect to the special needs early identification and support I believe there is so much more we can do.  With the debt now all but gone, and the new ISP LIF funds that have been introduced to school districts here in the province there is so much more we can achieve.  This is targeted funds for our special needs programs and as such must be used there.  The funds saved in paying down debt can now be channeled to where ever the Board agrees it best suits our district.  I will advocate seeing that more is down in the special needs programming in our district with these funds.

I have very strong ties to business and industry.  My family holds a very large forest company in logging, manufacturing and re manufacturing. I am also a business owner and have been for decades here in our community.  Through these ties I have connections that can be a great asset to our MPSD in building partnerships and sourcing funding that can help us in many ways here in MPSD.

 

Philip Cooper: 

Hi Courtney
Thanks very much for your email , I will do my best to answer your concerns . I live in Stave Falls , my kids are grown and my business interests are based in Maple Ridge I do however really enjoy living in Mission .I have lobbied both the School Board and the District about Stave Falls Elementary ( SFE ) and have gotten nowhere . I decided to run for a position on the school board in this election so that I could get a platform to let people know about the opportunities that an unused facility like this could be used for . I questioned one of the current board members about the condition SFE and was told that its mouldy and probably getting worse by the day , that really upset me to think that our asset is deteriorating under their watch . Win or loose I intend to continue to be an advocate for the local kids , the local enviroment and for accountability from the Board and the District .

Im sorry to hear about your frustrations with the current situation , I agree that changes need to be made . How is your son doing in his new enviroment . The following is my responses to your questions .


1. Teachers strike – I was a high school teacher in Maple Ridge ( Technical Education – 1982 – Garibaldi Secondary – Maple Ridge ) I am not a union member and I was not very sympathetic to their cause as I feel that most teachers like most people are more concerned about themselves than they are about their charges .

2. My feeling is that the corporate world should have a bigger role to play after all isnt it them that directly benefit from well educated and well rounded individuals . Obviously the Board has to deal with declining enrollment and a host of other issues at this time . I dont think we can stand more tax increases or expect the parents to chip in more , it seems to me that there is waste throughout the system and a better model of delivering the services has to be achieved by being as efficient as possible .

3. I will do what I can for the school district if Im elected , if Im unsuccessful I will still champion the cause for an “ Outdoor Learning School “ that could be based out of SFE . Maybe your boy could attend this school ( see attached ltr that I mailed to my Stave Falls neighbours )

4. My thoughts are whats the hurry and why are we pushing to extract as much as we can as fast as we can . China and the rest of east Asia can buy resourses from however they like . We should not have to fuel their economies and take the risks that are associated with the movement of these resources . We should take a longer termed approach with our resources , kids born today will likely live into the next century so lets slow down in our rush to develop and to consume . I think Christy and her followers have gotten ahead of themselves and time will tell if their plan will create all the opportunities that they are currently promoting .

5. My understanding is that there are 700 plus or minus students leaving the District everyday to attend schools in other Districts or are being home schooled . The current Board understands this and are trying to plan for the future by amalgamating some of the senior high schools and shuffling programs around . I feel that by reopening SFE would have a positive impact not only for the Stave Falls area but for the entire School District as a whole .

6. Ideally SFE would be run by the School Board , Mission Forestry Service , a tax payers based group and a Post Secondary Institution such as UFV . I have received assurances that there will be a walk through the school within the next month , thats a good start , believe me I will not let them just lock the doors and walk away . I know that the inside is deteriorating under the current boards mandate and I will be very active with all the concerned groups to get it cleaned up and functioning so that the community can start using it . My sense is that it has a good chance of reopening as a “ Outdoor Based Educational Model “ in the next few years .

There are a lot of Kids attending schools in MR and once they are going to Whonnock then they typically go to Garibaldi Highschool once they reach that age .

7and 8 – My though is that most Districts are lacking at this time .My priorities would be to reopening up SFE , working with Riverside College , promoting work experience , my construction experience with leaky buildings would be a benefit to the District plus my ability to connect with people and actually get things done would be my contribution as a Trustee to the Mission School system .

Thanks again Courtney , I hope your son is doing well at this time and if we can open SFE in the near future so that he will have a chance to attend that school and spend more time outdoors in a healthy enviroment .

Philip

 

Jim Taylor:

Thank you for your questions, I will answer in a few messages as your questions deserve detailed answers. you can also find more information on my Facebook page Jim Taylor for Trustee and in the Teachers’ Union Candidate Report Cart.
Question 1
I spent 33 years working in Education. Most of it in Mission and most as a very active BCTF member. My role as Vice Chair of the Board is different in that I must represent the whole District, students, parents, CUPE workers, MTU members and exempt staff. Finding common good is not always easy. However, as a trustee I fully understand the importance of open and honest dealings with all groups and the imperative of honoring collective agreements. Our District took a different stand than most of our neighbours. We understood that the Provincial Government was the real power broker and that trustees were simply being used by the government to deflect attention from themselves. We refused to passively accept this role. We lobbied both BCSTA and BCPSEA to move to mediation and arbitration. Most importantly we maintained our relationship with our teachers. Administrators were reminded that tents could be set out on rainy days, that coffee and conversation could be delivered from the school to the picket line, that respect and dignity were still important in our district. I am also proud to say that we refused BCPSEA’s order to hold back summer pay for our teachers. Yes, I attended rallies and demonstrations but I was always clear that I was not supporting either side but rather was standing in support of a strong public education system.
I hope this helps. I will answer some more questions tomorrow.
Thank you
Jim Taylor
Mission School Trustee

Jim seemed to know that I was posting on Facebook Feeds,  I sent him an email to let him know I received his message and response to question 1, but didn’t see any other responses from him, this is what he wrote next: 

Thank you, Courtney

It will be easier now that I know you are receiving my e-mails. Have you posted my response to question # 1? I did not see it.

Jim

 

Jim Taylor:

Courtney

Please find my answers to your questions below.

# 1 answered in previous post

# 2 I will advocate for better educational funding by working through the BCSTA to lobby government to fully fund changes they are making and to cover the rapidly increasing costs of maintaining our system (gas, electrical, carbon offsets, etc) In the meantime we will continue to direct our available resources to areas that directly impact students. Over the last three years we have managed to reduce operating costs by eliminating almost $800,000.00 annually from non-student related services. These saving having been used to pay off our debt and now can be directed to restoring some of the student services we have lost. Provincial funding is still inadequate but until the
Provincial Government is changed this is the most effective course of action.

#3 Yes, I will continue to push for better educational funding in every venue that is available to our Board.

#4 I assume that you mean Christy’s press releases on trades training such as these headlines:

The B.C. Liberal government first announced its skills-training plan in the fall of 2012, but it then cut funding for advanced education.

After the election last May, however, Ms. Clark met with private-sector union leaders to discuss how to ensure B.C. workers will be qualified for the jobs that are expected to be created if a liquefied natural gas industry takes off in B.C. Those talks are expected to result in changes to the Industry Training Authority later this year.

The problem with this is it is primarily smoke and mirrors. We have been chasing trades funding for Riverside College but the Government does not seem to have any funding to match Christy’s election promises.

#5 We are working hard to retain students in the Mission Public School system and to bring back many of those who have left for private schools. We have added two new schools of choice that are now waiting list only and we are reconfiguring our high schools to better meet the needs of students and parents.

#6 Please see my posting about Stave Falls School on Jim Taylor for Trustee on Facebook . Stave Falls Elementary should never have been closed down. You are correct that it is costing us quite a lot to maintain the empty site. However, I believe that we will not be able to reopen the site as an elementary school in the near future. Our students and their families have shifted to Maple Ridge and getting them to move back in any reasonable numbers would be very difficult. We continue to try to lease the school to reduce our ongoing costs and to add back to the community. Please note that I live about two blocks away from the school and spoke out strongly against its closure.

#7 Please refer to my comments on schools of choice and High School reconfiguration. Also to the removal of our debt burden and our increasing ability to provide greater student materials and services.

#8 Please see my Face Book page Jim Taylor for Trustee . Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions.

 


Can’t find your area?

This site may be useful. Thanks to Jack Trovato, who shared it with us on Facebook!

Labour Endorsed Candidates

 


Nanaimo

This information was given by Tom Rokeby, a teacher from Nanaimo. Here is what he shared with me.

Our local is not officially endorsing candidates, but I am happy to share with you a list that was compiled by myself, colleagues and parents from the Pots and Pans marches….Our criteria were two-fold: first off the candidate had to be committed to altering our districts top-heavy admin ratio and return those resources to the classroom. And secondly, commit to working with other boards at the provincial level to pressure the government to increase education funding. 

Our list is…..BBC H KORRS (horrible mnemonic device)
BOB, Natasha
BRZOVIC, Tania
CURLEY, Nancy
HIGGINSON, Stephanie
KIMLER, Scott
OXMAN, Lucy
RAE, Steve
ROUTLEY, Noah
SOLOMON, Steve


Municipal Election Coverage – Shaw TV

If you’d like to know more about the current candidates in your area, take a look at this YouTube channel.

Shaw – Decision 2014


Comox Valley – Area A

Diana Schroeder, an active member of the BC Voters Supporting BC Teachers and Public Education Facebook group, recommends the following school trustee candidate.

  • Sheila McDonnell (click here to see her Facebook page)

According to Diana, Sheila contributes a lot to the school and community. She works in the community/school garden weekly and arranges lunches and dinners for the community at the school. She is actively involved. She is intelligent and really cares about students and their education.