#POCOvotes2018: New SD43 admin building or not? Trustee candidates weigh in

Port Coquitlam candidates for school trustee have different views on a new administration building

Who are they and what do trustee candidates think of current School District 43 issues?

The following information about Port Coquitlam candidates is derived from a survey supplied by the Tri-City News to give voters more information leading up to the civic election on Oct. 20.

Howorth
Andrea Howorth - Submitted

ANDREA HOWORTH

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Age: 45

Occupation: executive director, I Am Someone Ending Bullying Society

Campaign funding: self-funding and a few donations from friends.

Previous community service: PAC Member and DPAC for middle and elementary school, member of PoCo Foundation Vital Signs Task Force, soccer and lacrosse team manager/volunteer

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Yes! We need to build on relationships with small business and developers to create a plan to assist with daycare needs, particularly for before and after school. With many parents both working full-time, they are desperate to find child care and there is not enough available.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Yes, I understand the need for recognizing and supporting this program at different levels for different age groups at home and at school. We need to teach kids about discrimination of all kinds and provide a safe environment and a sense of belonging for all students.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

Yes, I've learned our international [education] program is a large source of revenue for our district. It provides summer employment and is a revenue stream for homestay families. It's a business relationship.

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

We need a new building however would like to see a breakdown of the cost and ensure proper research and due diligence is done before moving ahead.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

I’m a parent of two school-aged children who is involved in both [their schools'] parent advisory councils. I will advocate for appropriate staffing in schools, ensure we provide an inclusive school environment for students with diverse learning needs, and have conversations with my business connections to support community initiatives and lobby for more daycare.

Phone: 604-802-2440

Email: andrea@andreahoworth.com

Website: andreahoworth.com

Facebook: facebook.com/andreaforschooltrustee

Twitter: @andreahoworth

Pollock
Christine Pollock - Submitted

CHRISTINE POLLOCK

Age: 59

Occupation: retired SD43 education assistant

Campaign funding: Self-funded with assistance from a GoFundMe page

Previous community service: Over 25 years volunteering in various minor sports in PoCo, World Junior Hockey accreditation, Olympic village host, Terry Fox Run volunteer.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Absolutely! Working in District 43 for 30 years, I have seen what a seamless transition it is for students who go from classroom to daycare in the same building. It is a comfortable, familiar and safe environment. For those little ones not yet in school, it allows them to familiarize themselves with the surroundings and have the chance to interact with older siblings during their day.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

I do support the SOGI 123 curriculum. Every child, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, deserves a safe and inclusive learning environment. Recent years have seen an alarming increase in death by suicide among youth, many times a result of being bullied, ridiculed or not accepted amongst their peers. I believe that SOGI 123 is an important step to promote inclusion of all students.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

While there may have been an information sharing opportunity, I question the motives and the number of trustees that traveled to China. Many educational institutions across Canada have cut ties with the Confucius Institute over questionable curriculum.

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

I question whether this is the right time for this type of expenditure. When the board of education needs to sell off parcels of land adjacent to schools in order to complete other projects, it doesn’t seem prudent to spend $36 million.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

I have 30 years experience at all levels of education in SD43. I have experienced first-hand the needs of students, teachers, administrators and support staff. I would support more funds going directly into schools and education, and less into management. I would promote increased dialogue between trustees and educators.

Facebook: Elect Christine Pollock for SD43 School Trustee

Twitter: @Ladylax

Instagram: @Christinespollock

Ram
Edward Ram - Submitted



EDWARD RAM

Age: 56

Occupation: IT consultant, business owner and Liberty Tax Franchisee

Campaign funding: Community donations, local meet-and-greet events, funding from friends and family, self-funding

Previous community service: School PAC volunteer (12 years), fundraising co-ordinator, District Parent Advisory Council rep (two years), vice-president (four years), treasurer, multicultural advocacy and school PAC outreach. Served on five SD43 board committees.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Why isn’t the district reaching out to the community and getting daycare back into our schools? It's a challenging task but by working together, this can be done. After the Supreme Court ruling on class size and composition, many of our private providers were pushed out. We need them back.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

All students should feel safe and accepted in our schools. In diversity, there's beauty and there's strength. Teachers need the basics of sexual orientation and gender identity education. The SOGI 123 material is a small part of a larger curriculum on health, anti-bullying, and inclusion.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

International education helps to keep our school budget buoyant, providing $34 million to the annual budget and helps the district to provide good paying union jobs.
Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

The current building was built in 1957 and needs replacing. Having attended meetings there, it's sad to see professionals working in converted broom closets as offices.
What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

Develop a learning framework that's flexible, innovative and sustainable within the resources provided by the government. Create a culture and an environment that's safe, inclusive and caring for everyone that is part of the education system: be it an employee, a teacher, a student, a parent or an administrator.

Phone: 604-588-8290

Email: edwardpocotrustee@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/Ram4trustee

Twitter: @edwardram9

Richardson
Bruce Richardson - Submitted



BRUCE RICHARDSON

Age: 67

Occupation: retired SD43 electrical supervisor

Campaign funding: Family, friends, fundraisers and myself

Previous community service: President of the PoCo Events Society and have been on the PoCo Car Show committee for the past 12 years.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Yes, I am in favour of school board creating daycare spaces in schools. The need for safe and regulated daycare is long overdue. My understanding is there are empty classrooms and portables that could fill that void.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Yes, I support SOGI 123. Acceptance and inclusion are of the upmost importance to a fair and equitable society.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

No, these free trips are a conflict of interest and are unethical. There is no free lunch and the board of education should not put itself in such a vulnerable position.
Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

There is no doubt that a new board office is long overdue. However, I believe that a more than adequate board office could be built for far less.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

I am committed to ensuring that our publicly funded education system is inclusive and effective. I will bring leadership and transparency to the forefront.

Phone: 604-512-2983

Email: ubrichardson@outlook.com

Facebook: bruce.richardson.candidate

Twitter: @ubrichardson

Thomas
Michael Thomas - Submitted



MICHAEL THOMAS (incumbent)

Age: 38

Occupation: IT consultant, school trustee, parent of three kids

Campaign funding: Mostly self-funded, some donations from family members.

Previous community service: Current PoCo school trustee, PoCo soccer coach (nine years), former director PoCo Heritage and Museum, served on PoCo May Day and several other civic committees.
Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why

SD43 does have a leading role to play in creating and maintaining daycare space. Recent programs announced by the B.C. government have created new funding opportunities to help build more daycare throughout our community. This does need to be balanced with our primary responsibility to students in classrooms.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

Yes, I believe it is important for all students to feel safe and included at school. The policies adopted by SD43 are based on provincial human rights standards and promote inclusion. We can trust professional teachers to ensure that these materials are used age-appropriately.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

Trustee travel to support the international education program should be funded by the international education department. This would more transparent and accountable to the public.
Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

Needs to be done — [the current office is] not safe, accessible or functional. The district office opened when my mother was in kindergarten — a lot’s changed since then!
What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

Top priority remains seismic safety; SD43 has 10 schools at high risk, that’s 10 too many. We also need to continue to rebuild and enhance our district to ensure students have the teachers, EAs and resources they need to prosper in the 21st century. Putting students first.

Phone: 604-715-7320

Email: Michael@ThomasFromPoCo.ca

Website: http://ThomasFromPoCo.ca

Facebook: facebook.com/ThomasFromPoCo

Twitter: @ThomasFromPoCo

 Instagram: @ThomasFromPoCo

Young
Melanie Young - Submitted

MELANIE YOUNG

Age: 54

Occupation: college instructor

Campaign funding: self-funded

Previous community service: served on daughter’s elementary PAC and organized their Stream of Dreams project. As Inlet Rowing Club president, I support local youth fitness initiatives.

Do you support the board of education taking a lead role in creating daycare spaces in schools, and why?

I am in favour of daycare spaces in SD43 schools. Schools are part of the community, and as such should engage in initiatives that support the community, beyond simply providing K-12 education. I support [Port Moody] Trustee Lisa Park’s motion to host a discussion and to consider the model adopted in Burnaby.

Do you support the use of SOGI 123 curriculum in schools to support the inclusion of LGBTQ+2 youth, and why?

I support SD43 schools drawing upon the SOGI 123 curricular resource. It helps create safe, inclusive environments and gives teachers tools to deal with complex topics that appear in subject areas like health, biology, social studies, and social responsibility. The resources give the facts and provide teachers with guidance.

Do you support trustee trips to China paid for by the Chinese government through cultural grants from the Confucius Institute, and why?

I am not in favour of SD43 school trustees taking trips to China. If the goal is cultural exchange, teachers and students could travel there.

Do you support the expenditure of $36 million for a new school board building, and why?

The $36-million price tag for the new school board administrative building is too high. Transferring money from operating budgets to capital budgets is risky.

What do you hope to accomplish as a school trustee?

As a school board trustee in SD43, I would hope to connect schools more closely with communities, to support initiatives that create more inclusive schools and to ensure classroom level support is always the priority in decision making. I am fiscally conservative and would not take risks with taxpayers’ money.

Email: melanie4pocotrustee@gmail.com

Website: melanie4trustee.blogspot.com

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