Fraser Ballantyne: What do you look for in an elected school trustee?

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      As a 38-year veteran in education—a former teacher/counsellor, school administrator, and a part of the district management team, and an incumbent school board trustee seeking re-election—I have always strived for excellence in delivering the highest quality teaching for Vancouver students. My experience working in five different secondary schools with a wide variety of Vancouver youth, including ESL, Downtown Eastside inner city residents, and aboriginal students, has given me strong insight of the issues and concerns of students, parents, and teachers across the city.

      I am interested in developing an atmosphere of transparent, professional discourse for all employee groups, from trades and supervision aides to teachers’ unions and administration. I want to focus on local points of view and issues. Particularly, I want to look at what the school board could do better in terms of bringing all sides together—through meaningful consultation—for the future of public education in Vancouver.

      I stand firm on Vancouver’s need for sustainable funding from the provincial government and will continue to work towards increasing and expanding funding for programs like Band and Strings and ESL-related multicultural support workers. These initiatives will directly impact our city’s students and parents.

      Working from the framework of everyone being a “life-long learner, I am interested and excited about increasing of community use of our facilities to meet demand for youth activities, senior programs, and community learning.

      I stand for high quality educational delivery and equal opportunity for all students. The most fragile students in our communityincluding ESL and aboriginal studentsneed all the support they can get, and I will do my utmost to see that it is delivered effectively into Vancouver’s unique neighbourhoods.

      An NPA-led school board would deliver these programs with strong fiscal responsibility, and accountability, in mind. Currently, the board continues to run large deficits, and it’s difficult for those affected—parents, teachers, and community stakeholdersto understand how its budget is spent. I will work to provide more transparency in the way our budget is managed and delivered, as part of our larger mandate to make Vancouver one of the most open governments in Canada.

      With our students finally back in the classrooms, I’m looking forward to continuing my work to make our school system the best it can be for students, parents, and administrators. On November 15, I ask for your vote for re-election, and your support for Kirk LaPointe and the NPA team.