There are five candidates running for a place in the upcoming school board trustee election for School Board District 82 in the Terrace and Thornhill area. There are two spots open for Terrace, and one position in Thornhill.
With just days before the general election on Oct. 20, here’s a preview of what the candidates said they would bring to the board if elected:
Art Erasmus (Terrace incumbent)
I spent my whole career in education teaching elementary school and secondary school and retired as Assistant Superintendent of Schools. After retirement I stood for the school board for two reasons: 1. to get back to a five-day school week and 2. To Reduce the Board by two places. In the next several years there will be several major items as well as keeping the schools on the right track.
1. This is a negotiating year for the next teacher contract. The contract will need to be fair to teachers and result in resolving some of the issues such as class composition, left over from a few years.
2. At the same time, the contract has to be fair to students so that they will get the instruction they need regardless of the size of the schools in the various communities in our district.
3. We will want to build on our recent dual program where students can work towards graduation and learn a marketable skill that will help them to gain employment.
4. We will need to find ways to include additional languages in our programs.
5. We will need to incorporate SOGI 123 which has been approved by the Ministry of Education as it will be appropriate in schools regardless of size.
Margaret Warcup (Terrace incumbent)
I have lived in Terrace for over 40 years and raised my three children here. I now have two grandchildren attending Ecole Mountainview. I retired after working both in private practice and as Executive Director/physiotherapist at the Terrace and then Kitimat Child Development Centres.
As a Trustee I have used my extensive experience on governing boards to have quality, inclusive, accountable public education for all students. I will continue to advocate for increasing educational opportunities in the north as I did with my appointment to the Interim Governing Council to establish the University of Northern British Columbia.
I will advocate for funding and support for children living with special needs, mental health supports, recruitment and retention of educators and having safe and healthy schools.
I will use my experience and commitment to ensure all our learners achieve their individual and fullest potential.
Peter Lambright (Terrace)
After 12 years in politics culminating as Chief Councillor of my hometown, Gitwinksihlkw, and School Board Trustee for School District 92 (Nisga’a), Terrace has been home for my wife and I, and our two sons, since 2013. As trustee for the Coast Mountains School District, I will serve the future leaders of BC’s Northwest region with passion and dedication.
Working with our local First Nations and the natural resource industry through my small business gives me a broad perspective. Coast Mountains School District communities face unique challenges to deliver quality programming and recruit teachers during the current shortage.
The new boom of families arriving in our region for LNG and other potential development will add new challenges. My energy and experience will be a positive addition to the school district team. Together we can make the most of this opportunity!
Sandy Watson (Thornhill)
My name is Sandy Watson and I am running for CMSD 82 trustee for the Thornhill area. I believe in quality public education and support alternative methods of teaching to achieve a high standard of learning. I encourage our teachers and administrators to think outside the box in order to engage and inspire our students to be lifelong learners.
I am proud of the work that our district has done; implementing the new curriculum, supporting language programs and especially the work that has been done increasing success rates for our learners in literacy and numeracy.
If elected I will continue to advocate for support services to students with special needs. Funding needs to be determined by the individual needs of students and not solely by diagnostic criteria. I will continue to advocate for early intervention strategies with other Ministries with regards to mental health and addiction within our student body.
Lorrie Gowen (Thornhill)
My name is Lorrie Gowen, and I have lived in Gossen sub-division for 26 years, moving here from Calgary where I worked at SAIT Polytechnic. I have been an employee of Coast Mountain College (previously Northwest Community College) since 1994 and am currently Dean of Trades and Workforce Training.
The purpose of our education system, both K-12 and Post-Secondary is to give students the skills needed to be whatever they want to be; be it Trades Person, Health Care Professional, Educator, or Network Administrator.
I believe it is our responsibility as trustees to ask the questions on how are we ensuring students have the skills needed to be successful in employment. Those being communication, critical thinking, teamwork, adaptability, initiative, reliability, ongoing learning & development, leadership, organization, and technology.
How are teachers integrating these skills into their lessons? Are we including Work Integrated Learning (WIL) into our programs? Do all students have an opportunity to participate in experiential, place-based learning? How are we connecting schools to their community? How are the questions here being addressed in the new K-12 curriculum?
Big questions, big topics to talk about. I look forward to having the opportunity to represent you as Trustee for the next four years.