Why run for Trustee?

/Why run for Trustee?
Why run for Trustee? 2018-10-02T14:09:02-04:00
Children matter most.
Our public education system in Ontario is something to be really proud of and something to protect. I see it as “the roots” of our diverse, inclusive, informed and educated citizenry. I think Trustees play an important part in the system. They work as a collective to make decisions, and at that table there should be a mix of experience and perspectives. My background prepares me well to contribute to the important dialogue that will precede Board decisions. As a Trustee, my first job will be to listen to as broad a range of stakeholder voices as I can, and to speak on behalf of students, parents, educators and supporters of education to find the best possible outcomes for our kids. This takes lots of time and energy and I think a fresh set of ears and eyes among the Trustees is a necessity for the health of the Board over the long term.
What drives me?
I love education. I’ve been a teacher all my life.
We all have a responsibility to our community. After years of observing and talking about politics, I’m inspired to “step up” and try to make a difference.  That’s a crude way of saying it, but it is a value instilled in me by my late father, who always believed that it was important to give something back to the community. As a retired educator, I have the time and perspective on education that allow me to participate within the political arena. I think I can make a difference.
Should there be a retired teacher at the Board table?
I think so. I’ve worked at both the Peel Board and the KPR Board, so have seen education from the inside, in two different communities. A healthy Board of Trustees should include many different perspectives and have members from all walks of life, but it should not exclude those who have an intimate understanding of education itself.
I have worked as the Arts Consultant for the KPR Board (six years) so I’ve seen how our Board works from the inside. I know its structure and personalities. I’ve been on the Equity and Diversity Committee and worked hard on the First Nation, Metis and Inuit policy roll-out. I managed the subject council meetings for all of the secondary schools, so learned about the range of issues that concern teachers around the Board. I’ve taught additional qualification courses in Drama to many teachers in the elementary panel, and learned how hard they work and what stresses they face day-to-day. I’ve been Head of the Peterborough Regional Integrated Arts program, and was its leader while PCVS was closed and the program moved to TAS. Those difficult years taught me a great deal about the politics and the community impact of Board decisions. I’ve been President of the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE) and a writer of Ontario curriculum and resources for the Ministry of Education. I’ve been Treasurer of the International Drama Educators Congress (IDEA) Canada, so have seen education in Ontario through the eyes of international guests. I’ve been a presenter throughout the province for OSSTF training workshops in support of teachers interested in ending  gender violence and supporting the LGBTQ students throughout the province, and also supporting students with special needs. I’ve been on committees for the provincial OSSTF, so have seen a bit of that union from the inside. I’ve been the President of the Theatre Guild and managed / Chaired monthly Board meetings there, learning the processes required for effective action to be taken within the confines of Board processes. I am a father and grandfather, and my children have gone through the school system. They, more than anyone, have taught me the importance of effective,  humane, supportive and challenging schools.
The Peterborough Trustees must keep the Peterborough schools foremost in their minds, but their decisions as a group apply to a huge Board. If elected, I pledge to make sure that our local schools are never ‘short-changed’ as a consequence of being part of a much larger Board. Each school in our city is its own community and each of them needs to be respected and supported. The facilities within a city are a resource for the whole community, and the school Board must always recognize the importance of maintaining the building a playing fields that are an asset to the whole city.