What I would like to share with you is the following. I have been employed in the financial sector for the past 31 years currently as branch manager of a local credit union. I feel the skill sets I have gained as well as my business acumen will add value to the ADSB.
I have volunteered/fund raised for Habitat for Humanity, Easter Seals, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Bon Snow winter carnival. Lou Turco mentioned during the debate that the school board’s decision to close Etienne Brule was one of the highest disappointments of his time on council. I have sat on an accommodation review committee in respect to school closures along with Don McConnel the city of Sault Ste Marie’s planning director.
Before we close a school I believe we must scrutinize the situation, is declining enrollment due to short term shifts in neighborhood demographics or is it a long term trend that recycles itself every 10 years. I would like to explore partnerships with organizations in Sault Ste Marie that could make better utilization of some of the underutilized school buildings. Thus they are not as much as a drain on the resources. City run quality affordable daycare for example has become a hot topic. Can we explore joint opportunities that would benefit all. I feel that our schools are the fundamental foundation for community development.
My motto has always been “Education without implementation is just Entertainment”. Students must be personally and intellectually engaged in learning at school. We can achieve this by creating a more welcoming environment between Parent, Teacher and Child. A mere 11 schools within the entire ADSB received funds from the Parents Reaching out Grants for the 2014 – 2015 school year totaling $9,925.00 we left over $30,000.00 on the table, funds the students/parents/teachers could certainly of used. I would review administration costs and look at ways of putting money back into the class room.
Education Minister Liz Sandals sent a letter to trustees last week stating the salary freeze would apply to the new slate of trustees that takes over after the October 27 municipal election.
I fully support these actions. When elected, my first year’s honorarium will be put back into our schools allowing teachers to utilize these funds to enhance our students learning. We must also place more pressure on the current Liberal government to provide adequate funding for our students. The government cookie cutter formula for funding hurts smaller Northern School Boards. I also feel Bullying and Suicides remain an issue with our students. With the rapid advancement in technology social media policies must be reviewed constantly to better protect our children. EQAO results with the Algoma board are low as reported by the Sault Star. Of the 268 students who participate, only 51% met the provincial standard. Of the 686 grade 10 students only 74% were successful this compared to a province wide of 83%.
If elected I intend to visit each and every school in our area, I will ask for invitations to the school’s parent council meetings and actually attend. I will ask to be put on the Parent Involvement Committee, what better way than to meet parents, teachers and principals and hear their concerns rather than having concerns presented at board meetings by management. I will work closely with the Student trustees and listen to the concerns from a student’s perspective.
A recent study indicated that teacher’s rank among the highest for paying out of pocket expenses to purchase classroom supplies.
Teacher’s caseloads and the complexities of the job are becoming very draining. It was once said “Teaching is like holding a one-hour birthday party five times a day, 200 days a year. In speaking to parents class sizes are an issue that I would like to review not only physical number of students but at times we fail to realize that some teachers are faced with an increasing amount of students that require an IEP (each individualized education plan must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document) I recently met with a teacher that had a class size of 19 of which 5 of her students were on an IEP. We must do more to assist teachers so that they can offer the best quality education our students deserve.
I appreciate hearing your Concerns/Comments/Questions. I can be reached at
email [email protected]
On October 27th I ask for your vote.