Michele DeKok stands on the right in a submitted photograph.(Submitted photo)

Michele DeKok stands on the right in a submitted photograph.(Submitted photo)

SD78 board meeting: Boston Bar teacher honoured for her empowering work

Also discussed were plans for the C.E. Barry field.

Fraser-Cascade School District 78’s (SD78) board met in Agassiz Elem-Secondary School Oct. 3.

Boston Bar teacher honoured

Boston Bar Elementary School Grade 7-12 teacher Michele DeKok will be one of the 10 teachers in British Columbia to receive recognition for her leadership in supporting youth to drive change in the world, presented by the WE Charity.

Her name will be announced by charity co-founder Marc Kielburger at an Educational Partners breakfast next Wednesday at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, prior to the WE Day celebration at Rogers Arena.

DeKok said she has been involved with Free the Children since 2005, the former name of the charity.

“When we started we focused on fundraising which led to many building projects including a school and then led to a trip in 2012 to build that school — actually a library — in Salabwek (Kenya),” said DeKok. “From 2012 on, I shifted my focus to awareness of issues with a longer term impact.”

DeKok and her husband continue to raise funds through selling jewelry from Indonesia and Kenya at markets such as the Hope Mountain Market. Profits fund education and empowerment projects in those countries. They also currently support a mother they met in Kenya and also keep her three children in school. They also sponsor nine children through Pedula Sesame Foundation in Singaraja, Indonesia, where two of the nine children have graduated and are working to support their younger siblings.

Hope Secondary School Grade 12 student Emma Link will also speak at WE Day on the topic of International Women’s Day.

Plans for C. E. Barry

The plan to build a track with the help of the Aviva Community Fund on C. E. Barry Intermediate School’s former school grounds has gone online on Tuesday. The address is avivacommunityfund.org and voting will end next Thursday.

However, a letter sent to the board suggested another idea for the land. Dagmar Lucak suggested that instead of a running track, it should be used as a driving circuit to teach Hope residents how to drive.

She said people who cannot drive will feel isolated and limits their employment opportunities to within walking distance and eliminates their chances at higher education.

She also suggested that high school students will maintain the vehicles used in the circuit and students can learn administrative skills in a business-like setting, which will be useful for their resumes.

The board discussed this letter in-camera. Board chair Linda Kerr will respond to the letter.

Class size and composition

Superintendent Karen Nelson and the Fraser Cascade Teachers Association (FCTA) met on Oct. 4 and while there are no class size violations, a number of classes in Hope schools have more than three identified special education students. Nelson and the FCTA are seeking remedies.

Sexual orientation and gender identity network

SD78 will join the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Educators Network. The board approved the appointment of a district lead, who will join the network and return with information to review policies and procedures within the district to ensure all students feel safe in the schools.

 

A blueprint of a running track on C. E. Barry Intermediate School’s former grounds. (SD78 image)

A blueprint of a running track on C. E. Barry Intermediate School’s former grounds. (SD78 image)

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