Candidates for Delta school trustee
To help citizens make an informed choice at the polls during the civic election on Saturday, Nov. 19, The South Delta Leader asked all candidates for school trustee to provide their name, occupation, top three issues in order of importance and 100 words briefly describing their platform and plans if elected.
Here are their responses:
* Denotes incumbent
REAL – Responsible Education and Academic Leadership
(Missing: Michael Patrick Macumber)
3. Class composition
Facing difficult times with the demands of growing budgets, insufficient funding and declining enrolment in our schools as well as making sure our children’s teachers are equipped with the proper tools to be the best they can be…Delta School Board needs a fresh new start. We need team-players who will come to the table with new ideas, solutions and energy to ensure our children get the best education that we can offer to safeguard their journey through this important time of their lives. I have extensive experience with budgeting in difficult times, teamwork and leadership. I will work full time and not regard this position as a volunteer or part-time job. I will be our children’s advocate and your voice.
Occupation: Executive Lead, Practice Support Program, BCMA
1. Declining enrolments.
2. Ongoing fiscal challenges
3. Implementing Delta School District’s Vision
My strengths lie in the combination of my professional experience within complex organizational structures, academic background, and personal commitment to the people of Delta. Experienced dealing directly with people in many different situations, my background will benefit me in listening to the public, in lobbying for school funding, in consulting with our teaching faculty and in debating issues with other representatives on the Delta Board of Education. My aim is to represent all stakeholders in the Delta School District and to make good decisions that will benefit us all. Vote for me, a voice that won’t let you down.
Occupation: Stylist and Salon owner
1. Declining enrolment
2. Funding formula
3. Safety in schools
I bring to the table an independent, grassroots mentality, being first and foremost a concerned parent who sees huge challenges in our school system, we need to stop ‘talking’ about what is wrong and start finding viable solutions to funding and enrollment struggles that are realistic and attainable for our School District.
My first responsibility as a school trustee, if elected, will be to ensure trustees attend PAC meetings around the district on a regular and consistent basis. Trustees need to communicate with parents and connect with the youth to ensure they are part of the decision making process that directly effects them.
Brenda Bennett-Schneider (REAL)*
Occupation: Mom and school board trustee
2. Declining enrolment
3. Ceasing the teacher job action
If re-elected I would like to continue to work with all partner groups in Delta. Currently the board has a very good working relationship with senior staff and with the Ministry of Education.
Education in Delta is excellent. We need to continue and improve in all areas.
Occupation: Volunteer coordinator (part-time) with Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC
1. Minimizing the impact of funding shortfalls
2. Designing a new, adaptable, innovative education system
3. Supporting students with vastly diverse learning needs
If elected I will draw upon the insights, knowledge and understanding I gained when I served as District PAC chair (2006 - 2010), to carry out the work of the Board. This experience and the relationships I made in the district and provincially, will enable me to be an affective advocate for high quality, relevant, education for all learners.
I am approachable, collaborative and energetic. I will work to ensure the Board consults with our education and community stakeholders, and parents, through our PACs and individually, before we make major decisions. In other words, greater transparency. Please visit donnaburke.org.
Occupation: Parent, volunteer, school trustee
1. Continuing excellence in education for Delta students
2. Advocating for a funding formula that meets our needs
3. Fiscal responsibility
Trustees have a tremendous responsibility to be strong advocates for our students. I have been working to address policy and funding issues and supporting the amazing work that goes on in Delta Schools. I have demonstrated my commitment by being involved far beyond the boardroom. When I am in the schools talking with students, staff and parents or out in the community I become a better representative for your voice. I commit to continue to be your school board representative that puts the best interests of the students at the heart of all that we do. www.lauradixon2011.com
1.Provincial policy regarding education. To say any more would merely be commentary.
Until real solutions are offered to B.C. families by our senior governments I don’t know what impact a lone school trustee will be able to make. For my part I will be happy to explain to any of the powers that be that collecting more money in tuition fees than corporate taxes is not a bragging point but is in fact shameful. I would also promote the idea that the corporatist education agenda of the BC Liberals is great for creating widgets, but forgets the great enterprise of creating literate, learned citizens.
Occupation: Hearing Resource Educational Assistant
1. Creating a positive and cooperative relationship with families, students, educators, support staff, and administrators
2. Appropriate funding for Special Education and Specialist Teachers
3. Embrace Diverse and Innovative instruction
Carol supports Delta public schools to be first choice amongst families. Carol’s career experiences include working as a police officer, working with Delta School District supporting students with special needs, and currently for Richmond School District Hearing Resource Department serving students with Hearing Impairments. She has coached basketball for Delta schools, coached Odyssey of the Mind and been PAC chair at Cliff Drive Elementary. Carol is a board member for W.I.N.G.S., an organization that provides transition homes for women escaping domestic violence. Delta schools need to identify the uniqueness and diversity of children and to provide for them the opportunities to reach their maximum potential.
Nick Kanakos (REAL)
Occupation: Retired Delta Teacher – 33 years in Delta
1. Ensure our schools are Safe, Caring and Nurturing environments for all students
2. Develop a comprehensive plan to Increase Provincial Educational Funding
3. Decrease class size and improve student support in the classroom for special needs students
“My professional life has been devoted to providing quality education in Delta.” Kanakos is a retired teacher who taught in Delta for thirty-three years. Having four children who attended to Delta Schools, Nick understands the issues facing parents.
Nick‘s teaching responsibilities included: Computer Coordinator, Provincial Examination and Scholarship Committees, Department Head, Athletic Director, and Head Football Coach. He has experience working with students, teachers, parents, and district administration. He understands the school system and he has a ‘skill set’ which will contribute to improved school district. “I will work to provide the best educational environment for the students of Delta.”
Occupation: Education Technology Consultant
1. Finding innovative ways to administer education to maintain the diversity of learning options that today's students require
2. Better manage the roles and responsibilities being put on educators so they have time to focus on teaching
3. Empower teachers to have more input on their own professional development to allow them to remain current with changing technologies
Sue Lloyd understands how important technology is in your child's education. The decisions made today will have a great impact on their future. Sue Lloyd, former ballerina, physiotherapist, software support expert and environmental educator can help make critical decisions to support the educators and the students lead in education for the 21st Century.
Occuaption: Area Director Atlific Hotels
1. School Funding
2. Listening to the people in the community and being their voice
3. Balanced budget
An active father with two children in the Delta School system, I am passionate about making a difference in the community and within the Delta School System. Education is extremely important to me and is why I have decided to run in the election.
I am a normal guy who lives in your community who cares and wants to make a difference. I might not have all the answers but I will work very hard to try to find a solution to the problem. If elected I plan on doing what is right for our kids and community.
Occupation: 9 year School Trustee
1. Administration Costs. Continuing the reduction of administration.
2. Special Needs Students. Advocating for increased provincial funding.
3. Elimination of Fees. Reviewing all fees charged to students and parents by schools.
Our School District has the 4th lowest administration costs in BC and I will continue to push for financial accountability. We need to lobby the provincial government for funding for students with special needs. The current funding shortage burdens the whole school system. As a trustee, I declined many political frills such as “trustee retreats”, school district catering, and using any hotel rooms in Vancouver for conferences. I have maintained a minimal expense account because I value taxpayer dollars. The School District and Council need to work together for solutions and efficiency in shared services and capital projects.
Dale Saip (REAL)*
Occupation: Vice President Business Development WHL Vancouver Giants
1. Continued advocacy for appropriate funding for a changing system
2. Strong leadership in challenging times and declining enrolment
3. Student engagement and vision for the future of our District
''The Delta School District has a long and distinguished history of academic excellence. We have a tradition of good sound management practices which includes good governance and solid leadership. I will, along with my fellow R.E.A.L candidates, continue to demonstrate leadership by finding solutions to difficult challenges in a respectful, constructive and thoughtful way, seeking consensus rather than divisiveness.”
Occupation: Customer Service
1. Provincial funding for education
2. Cuts to special needs programs; need more support in this area
3. Classroom composition; number and composition of students
I strongly believe that education is under-funded by the provincial government. All Districts in BC need to address this issue in order for education to move forward. As PAC Chair at Delta Manor Elementary during our school closure, I saw a need for change in the School Board. I am an advocate for our students and will fight to enrich the learning process for our children and put their education above all else. It will be my mission as Trustee to establish a working liaison between families, teachers and the District to create an environment that will benefit everyone.
1.Under funding of public education
2. Declining enrolment
3. Student engagement
One of the most important things that can happen in a classroom is the vital connection between student and teacher. The teacher acts as a facilitator and guides the learner through the information to develop a deeper understanding of the material fostering a curiosity to learn more. It’s all about engaging the students mind, whether through text or technology, by making the material relevant to what is happening today.
To add to the depth of excellence already occurring in our schools I would like to see the introduction of an International Baccalaureate Program at the elementary level.
Occupation: Business and communications strategy consultant
1. Declining enrolment
2. Class size and composition
3. Ongoing engagement with parents and other stakeholders
Funding issues will likely lead to difficult decisions. I want to ensure that we are looking well forward to define our challenges, reviewing with parents, teachers and other stakeholders. This way, we can hear opinions, address concerns and consider ideas before action is required.
The Board will also oversee the implementation of the District’s Vision. To do this, we’ll need to develop a strong strategy. My background in strategic development can help make the Vision become a reality.
My background is business, not education. I hope to bring a focused, strategic approach and a different perspective to Delta's School Board.
Occupation: Marketing consultant
1. Provincial funding for school districts facing decling enrolment
2. Special needs support
3. Manageable class sizes
The main issue I am concerned about is managing the school board resources in the face of declining enrolment and the associated funding problems the District is going to face in the short term. I believe my background in business and education can help provide a valuable perspective and insight going into the next three years of decision making. As a coach and former PE teacher I am also eager to see what I can do to help maintain and, hopefully, improve the quality of daily physical education for all students in the Delta School district.
Simon Truelove (REAL)*
Occupation: Teacher and school trustee
1. Adequate funding to maintain the excellence of Delta schools
2. Education that meets the students' requirements to succeed in a rapidly changing world
3. Safety and caring for all Delta students
As an incumbent I feel very proud of our board’s record: excellent academic results, high graduation rate and prudent financial management under significant funding challenges. REAL Trustees will listen carefully to the variety of perspectives in our diverse community. No Board of Education can be effective if paralyzed by partisan politics. We have been effective. As Delta’s BCSTA Provincial Council representative, l worked with trustees from across the province to address the Minister with a strong, united voice. Students’ educational needs do require better funding, but we are doing well with what we have. Let’s build on that success.
Occupation: Retired teacher
1. Lack of government funding and the need for a revised funding formula
2. Declining enrolment
3. Support for students with special needs including “grey” area students
Delta trustees need to become more vocal advocates for students in pressuring government to increase education funding and to implement a new funding formula that reflects the true cost of educating students. As a trustee, I will continue to advocate for students with special needs including those “grey” area students who do not receive specific funding. I will work to ensure parents’ voices are heard and to enhance community support for Delta schools. In the past, I have worked tirelessly to support the public education system. I bring 40 years of education experience to the Delta Board of Education.