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 Rick Hodgson:
What are your qualifications for the position?
I am a grandfather with 5 grandchildren… ages two and a half to 8 years. Three are in grades K, 2 and 3. The other two will impact the system in 3 years. Our children are our future and need our best efforts.
As well, I have 25 years experience in education in three provinces. In the classroom, I have taught grades 3 through 9. As an itinerant classroom teacher, I have taught French in Kindergarten through grade 4. As a teacher librarian, I have operated school and district resource centres and provided services to staff and students in English and French. In rural Saskatchewan, I served as a principal in a K-7 school. At the provincial level, I established the educational software evaluation program for for the Learning Resources Branch of Saskatchewan Education.
As a trustee, what key issues would you like to advance?
In my professional opinion, Revelstoke enjoys an excellent school system. With the changes taking place in the community of Revelstoke, the challenge in the future will be to ensure the standards set do not slip. We must be proactive and prepared in order to continue to meet the present and future needs of our children.
As our housing units are gobbled up for commercial short term rentals and our residential neighbourhoods are commercialized, prices and rents will continue to rise. This lack of affordable shelter will impact on the schools district’s ability to staff to its current highly competent level. And without affordable shelter, families will choose to live elsewhere taking their children with them. Fewer students means less money and fewer services.
What would you like to achieve as a trustee?
More and greater changes are coming to Revelstoke. I want to ensure that our school district is proactive in addressing those changes and in its response to the needs of our children. I also intend to increase the awareness of our children and their needs in the decision making processes in Revelstoke. Unlike other communities where medical, social, policing, recreational and educational services operate in isolated silos, there is cooperation and communication in Revelstoke. For our children, I would like to see the process continue and be formalized. “It takes a village to raise a child.”
And to do all that, I need your vote. Please.