Candidate for School Trustee
Contact InformationEmail: Click to Send
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Personal InformationResident of: Brocklehurst
Current Occupation: Territory Manager
1. Why run for a trustee position?
I’ve always been interested in civic politics and want to grow and improve the district. My two children are in the public-school system and I love Kamloops. I believe I can contribute something unique to the school board; I have created and managed multiple budgets and employees, overseen complex projects and found efficiencies in daily operations. I have also gained the fiscal literacy I believe is required for public office through post-graduate studies.
2. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the Kamloops-Thompson School District?
Aging infrastructure and overcrowding in schools are two of the biggest challenges. As a district we need to advocate for more funding because we can’t sustain what we have without it and the goal should be to improve.
3. What is the job of a trustee — to advocate for more public dollars or to administer the district according to the funding provided?
I don’t see the job as being mutually exclusive. Advocating for more public dollars is a continual duty and isn’t something a trustee can take a break from. Resources are always going to be sparse and as a trustee you must be creative in finding ways to ask for more. Of course, managing the district with the existing funding is also an important part of being a trustee.
4. Is the current curriculum preparing students for success after graduation?
What we need is for teachers to feel free to follow the new curriculum. The general ideas of the new curriculum encourage deeper learning and allows our students to become better critical thinkers. The introduction of the new curriculum requires that teachers be able to try new ways of doing things to find what works best. As a district, we need to give teachers more flexibility with rolling out this new curriculum.
5. All schools grapple with the incursion of smartphones and other electronic devices in classrooms. Do you think District 73 has a strong smartphone policy? Why or why not?
No. From what I understand, every school deals with them differently. There is a lack of continuity and more and more studies are finding smartphone use is an addiction.
Smartphones can be a great tool for learning if used correctly. The biggest challenge with the policy isn’t what it says, it’s how it’s managed. I’ve managed a primarily millennial workforce for the last 10 years and cell phones have always been an issue. As an employer, I had the ability to discipline to the extent of termination. Schools can’t be as severe, but they are able to create systems that deter usage. I have researched classrooms that installed locked cubby holes at the front of the class for students to lock up their devices while they are in class. I have also heard of a teacher in Kamloops who has a locked tool box at the front of the class where students can safely store their devices during his lecture. Both are
creative ideas that curb the temptation to continually look at your phone. We need to provide the appropriate tools to teachers to manage their use without making it a focal point of their attention.