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

Stopping school violence starts with communication

Some B.C. schools moving to locked doors, identity badges, video surveillance

‘Our schools are safe’

Mission school superintendent Angus Wilson says training, protocols in place

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Mission proposes big jump in business licence fees

Some companies could go from $148 to $10,000 per year

Fraser Valley real estate predicted to slow down in 2018

B.C. Real Estate Association forecasts a cooling market

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

Mission hockey teams qualify for provincials

Two midget and one bantam club will be battling to be the best in B.C.

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a pulley system to drag the horse to solid ground

VIDEO: Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Most Read