CANDIDATE PROFILES: For Sooke School District trustees

Eighteen individuals vying for four spots in Belmont Zone and three in Milne's Landing (Sooke) Zone

For the purposes of this questionnaire, ‘no previous experience’ relates to publicly elected positions only. * incumbent

BELMONT ZONE

* Donald (Rob) Brown, 31, Owner Northern Star Plumbing and Gas

Reasons for running: “To continue working to improve the education, health and development of youth in our community.”

 

Stephanie Longstaff, 53, Self-employed, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “I am passionate that every child in B.C. has the right to a free top quality education. I’ve been watching the school board closely for over a decade, and I feel it’s time for me to stop observing, roll up my sleeves and get knee deep in it.”

 

Melissa McConnell, 30, Homemaker, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “The board is in need of a change. There needs to be more accessibility, transparency and accountability. My passions are special needs supports, bilingual learning opportunities and making the best choices we can.”

 

Ravi Parmar, 20, Student, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “My involvement in this district has led to a passion for the education system. I represent the voices of the future and as an SD62 grad I understand the district’s gifts and challenges.”

 

Jan Peever, 62, Retired SD62 employee, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “While we continue to expand and grow the excellent academic side of our house, I want to see the trades side expanded and moved forward. We also need to continue to lobby for more funding.”

 

* Wendy Hobbs, 51, Insurance Agent

Reasons for running: “To continue to use my knowledge and experience to advocate for class size, sustainable provincial funding and continue with our business plan to deal with our predicted growth.”

 

Denise Riley, 64, Custodian

Reasons for running: “With the knowledge and experience I have gained, I will work collaboratively with the community and partner groups to build a strong education system for the future of our children, and continue to advocate for sustainable government funding.”

 

Tim Rud, 50, Singer/Songwriter, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “I pledge increased representation for families on the West Shore by ensuring that school board decisions better reflect actual community input and consultation.”

 

* Diana Seaton, Retired

Reasons for running: “SD62 needs strong, experienced leadership in these challenging times of growth and change. I pledge to use my experience and knowledge to make decisions in the best interests of our students and our school district.”

 

(Trudy) Elizabeth Spiller, 58, LPN, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “Our students are not receiving proper supports because of the ongoing budget cuts. I want to advocate for smaller class sizes to allow teachers to give all students the time they deserve to learn and thrive.”

 

Dean Sutton, 45, Administrator, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “I want to make a difference! I feel we need proactive policy, accountable strategic planning and competitive schools, and I feel the Board should be transparent and work with all stakeholders.”

 

Sarah Wilson, 27, Auditor/Stay-at-home mom, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “I have three children, one special needs, who are and will be in the B.C. education system. The education system is not being treated as a priority and I would like to be an advocate to change that.”

 

MILNE’S LANDING ZONE

Arthur (Russ) Chipps, Chief Councillor of Beecher Bay First Nation, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “I want to support, strengthen and make a positive impact at SD62 through leading by example. It’s important to me to show students and youth that anything is possible.”

 

Doris Gulmans, 69, Retired teacher, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “To ensure teachers have needed resources, to have in-depth and honest consultation with parents and to work with trustees to lobby the government to put more value on education.”

 

Benula Larsen, 46, Teacher, No previous experience

Reasons for running: “We have many classrooms that are not conducive to learning and we have many kids without proper specialist support. This is a direct result of underfunding and as a community we need to unite and be the one voice that says ‘Our kids deserve better.’”

 

* Bob Phillips, 67, Retired Medical Social Worker

Reasons for running: “Quality public education enhances our children’s lives and produces a healthier democratic society. I make positive contributions as a hard-working, open-minded and well-informed trustee.”

 

* Neil Poirier, 54, Programmer Analyst

Reasons for running: “I have served the educational system and ultimately the children of the Western Communities in helping achieve their higher educational goals.”

 

* Margot Swinburnson, Registered Nurse/Assisted Living Case Manager

Reasons for running: “I will support initiatives that help our learners transition successfully and advocate for our most vulnerable learners. This underfunding needs to stop. There is a tremendous lack of resources available to help support children with mental health issues.”