Party affiliation (if any): Independent
Education: Bachelor degree and teaching certificate from SFU,
Diploma in Special Education from UBC
Occupation: Retired (Resource Conservation Manager, Vice Principal, Teacher)
Previous political experience: Incumbent (one term)
Residency: Stave Falls, Mission
Community involvement: Multiple Community Environmental Initiatives, Toxic Hogweed control, Mission Rotary, Mission Food Center
Marital status/children: Married 41 years to his wife Terry, Three adult daughters
Social media: On Facebook: Jim Taylor For Trustee
What do you feel are two key education-related issues Mission voters should be considering when choosing trustee representatives in this civic election?
• Declining enrolment and the financial problems caused by fewer students
• The need for clear academic, attendance and behaviour expectations across all District of Mission Schools
Why, and what would you do to address these issues?
• We are a small District with a declining enrolment. This has a huge impact on our financial resources and our ability to address the needs of a very diverse student population. We can no longer continue with a “business as usual approach”. We need to move to a new organizational structure that uses funding for direct services to students. That is why we have eliminated almost $800,000.00 from the exempt staff budget. In the last three years we’ve eliminated a 3.9 million dollar debt. We are now projecting a slight surplus and have built a contingency fund into the budget. Future Boards must continue to be frugal and student centered.
We must continue to broaden program diversity in elementary schools to stop the flow of children to private schools. To do this the Board has created both an Arts Based Curriculum School and a Traditional School. Both schools are filled to capacity and have waiting lists extending to the year 2019. We need to keep high school students in Mission by moving early teens into age appropriate Middle Schools and creating a single high school with a broad range of academic and vocational course offerings.
• Secondly we need to ensure District wide consistency in academic, attendance and behavioural expectations. We have highly trained and dedicated staff, concerned parents and students with immense potential. What we need is a School District that sets clear expectations and demands that all the participants in our system fulfill their obligations. We need to insist that our students always strive for their best. To do less is to settle into a system of mediocrity.