Boards of education are an important part of municipal governance, but often overlooked. As part of the Mountaineer’s coverage of the upcoming municipal election we’ve asked trustee candidates for the Revelstoke School District 19 Board of Education to share how they can help enhance education in our community.
According to the British Columbia School Trustees Association trustees “engage their communities in building and maintaining a school system that reflects local priorities, values and expectations.”
We asked each of the candidates to answer three questions about their qualifications, key issues, and what they’d like to achieve as a trustee. Here are the responses from candidate Bill MacFarlane:
What are your qualifications for the position?
Having spent my career in public education I bring 35 years of knowledge and experience to the role of being a school board trustee. I served on City Council for 20 years and was a director of the Revelstoke Credit Union for 15 years. Also, I am the chair of the City’s Advisory Planning Commission. This has meant that I have acquired the qualifications and the skills needed to serve as a school board trustee.
As a trustee, what key issues would you like to advance?
Some of the keys issues that the new Board will have to deal with:
-We will need experienced people as we continue making sure budgets meet the needs of our students.
-We will have to soon respond to the challenges in what the government recommends on a new school board funding model.
– We will need to focus on student success because the student really is the center of public education.
-Teacher bargaining is set to begin in the new year and I am optimistic that negotiations can be respectful and that there will be success in reaching a new agreement with our teachers.
-Treating all of our employees with dignity and respect is vital to achieving our goals.
-With a new school board in place it will be time once again to look at our vision, goals and strategic plan. This will be an important component of making sure the district is managed in a cost-effective manner and strives for the highest quality. We will need to focus on student success because the student really is the center of public education.
What would you like to achieve as a trustee?
I feel for the first time in a long time we now have a provincial government that is committed to public education. Here in Revelstoke there is a long history of working collaboratively with education stakeholders to build success for our students. We are viewed across the province as a very successful school district. This is a strong foundation to support the efforts needed to make sure we continue to build a strong, vibrant, inclusive public education system for our students here in Revelstoke.
Everyone is entitled to a free, quality public education. Public education is a sacred trust and it must provide the opportunity for all students to reach their optimum potential in becoming fully participating citizens in a free and democratic society.