Candidates for school board trustee in Mission answered questions about education from the Mission District Parent Advisory Council and the audience Wednesday night at the Clarke Theatre. Natalie Jones was the moderator for the evening.

Candidates for school board trustee in Mission answered questions about education from the Mission District Parent Advisory Council and the audience Wednesday night at the Clarke Theatre. Natalie Jones was the moderator for the evening.

Trustee candidates talk about education in Mission

All-candidates forum at Clarke organized by Mission DPAC

All candidates running for trustee on the Mission school board support the move to a single high school and will work together, if elected, with parents, students, staff, and the community to develop a model in which students can find success.

On Wednesday night at the Clarke Theatre, about 200 people attended an all-candidates meeting for school board trustees in Mission.

All nine school board hopefuls took part in the forum, organized by the District Parent Advisory Council. Rural school trustee candidate Earl Babich also participated, but incumbent Shelley Carter, who is away on vacation, was absent.

Paul Loyla believes in giving back to the community as much as possible. “It’s critical for education to enhance the experience for everyone involved.”

Many local students entering post-secondary schools have to upgrade courses to get into programs they want, said Kathleen MacKillop, who works as an education coordinator and social development worker for Leq’a:mel Fist Nation.

“I hope with the configuration, we will have courses students need … to get into post secondary and apply for scholarships.”

Incumbents Jim Taylor and Edie Heinrichs talked about a plan to bring in academic and attendance standards to measure student achievement across the district.

Heinrichs stated the standards also apply to students in trade.

“We have to teach and test,” said Taylor, who was pleased to hear the changes made by the current board were being supported . “We need honesty in reporting results to parents and students so they know where they can improve.”

Philip Cooper, a builder who has taught classes in the past, is an “avid supporter” of developing the west side of Stave Lake. He shared his vision for an outdoor school in partnership with the District of Mission.

“I want to focus on work experience for students,” said Cooper.

“Everyone here wants to improve student achievement,” said Scott Young, who has served as DPAC chair for four years. “We’re a little bit weak on community engagement. I want to bring that level up.”

“It is my primary goal to improve communication between the board, parents, and the public,” said Tracy Loffler, owner of Unison Yoga, who has two children attending schools in Mission. “We need to move to … push information out to parents. I have a positive attitude and fresh perspective.”

“Engaging parents is about approachability,” offered Rick McKamey, a past trustee and president of the Council of BC School Districts. “We need to listen to our parents… Trust comes from making ourselves that much more approachable.”

Babich suggested it’s important to know what everybody wants. “When parents demand something, the board should supply it.”

Heinrichs said parent engagement has increased in the last three years, but it will never be 100 per cent.

Trustee candidates talked about ways they could support the French Immersion program, which is seeing a decline in enrolment.

There are many benefits to French Immersion, said incumbent Randy Cairns, who has already served on the board for three terms. “It opens the minds of young students.”

“I fully support the program and we should do what we can to support other cultures that make up our community,” said Cooper.

Heinrichs worried having the French Immersion in two elementary schools is weakening the program. Taylor, who had two daughters go through the program, suggested the new board should look into rebuilding French Immersion in Mission, and didn’t rule out a separate high school for the program.

Young suggested engaging the community for ideas on the issue.

Mission voters will be electing four trustees to the Mission school board on Nov. 15. Voters in the Fraser Valley Regional District will select one rural trustee to be a part of the board.

 

Just Posted

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read