SD78 School Board elections: Trustee candidate Q&A
Q1: What experience do you have that will make you a good trustee for SD78?
I have had the pleasure of serving two elected terms on the school board in the past, one term on Council and three terms as Mayor. I would look forward to working as a school trustee again. I am rerunning for Mayor as well and this is a complimentary fit serving the same taxpayers.
Q2: What are the two most pressing issues facing SD78? How do you plan to address them? (be specific)
Respect at the Board table beginning with the Board chair is imperative for a smooth functioning School District. Meetings of the Board should encourage the sharing of ideas, in a respectful environment. Once the majority of the board decides on a direction the board members should be focusing on carrying out that decision and not re-debating the topic after a decision has been made.
Q3: How do you plan to listen to parents and students about the issues they care about? (be specific)
The purpose of the board of trustees is to hear the concerns of parents, teachers, support staff and other taxpayers. I commit to being approachable as I always have been over the phone, in person or with email. The apparent current muzzling of trustees is not acceptable.
Q4: The SD78 board has faced a number of controversies over its last term, including a letter to former education minister Mike Bernier stating the board was “severely dysfunctional” and requesting a special advisor to review SD78’s governance, two censures of a trustee – one of which cost the school district $48,000 and allegations from the censured trustee about bullying, a disrespectful workplace and a lack of transparency on the board. Given this, how do you plan to instill trust in and build a healthy workplace culture on the SD78 board?
Based on the Education Minister’s comments there is clearly plenty of opportunity for improvement. Creating a Board dynamic which is respectful, has focussed and efficient discussion and allows all members of the board to express themselves without fear of repercussion is important. I am commiting to work to create such a Board. Our dollars should be spent educating our youth not engaging lawyers or mediators.
Q5: What is your position on the implementation of the SOGI 1 2 3 program in SD78 schools?
I am in the process of talking with parents and teachers about this curriculum and will obtain a copy of the SOGI in school resources. I want to make sure that have all the facts on this subject first.
Wilfried Vicktor’s response to question four referenced ‘the Education Minister’s comments’. The comments were not from the Minister of Education, who board chair Linda Kerr confirms did not make any comments. The comments he referenced were from a letter sent to the minister from three school district trustees in March 2017.