Central Okanagan Board of Education chairwoman Moyra Baxter says she will seek another term on the board.
Baxter currently represents the the District of Peachland and the Central Okanagan West electoral area, as well as the two Westbank First Nation reserves on the west side of Okanagan Lake on the board.
But she said despite that, she is concerned with all schools in the district.
“While I’m known as a Westside trustee, all trustees’ responsibilities cover every area of the school district. I’m just as concerned with a school in, say, Glenmore as I am with a school on the Westside. I will work equally hard in all areas of the district,” she said.
She said if re-elected, over the next four years her priorities will include working to build healthy relationships with parents, the community as a whole, and all school district employees.
“Trustees are elected as representatives of their communities and must not pay lip-service to consultation with all stakeholders,” said Baxter.
She also also wants to see the district’s long-term facilities plan updated.
“Having clear long-term plans in place should avoid decisions being made at short notice and assist the board in always looking at the big picture,” she said.
According to Baxter, it is the role and responsibility of each trustee to ensure they have adequate, up-to-date information before making decisions, even if that means delaying a decision. Trustees, she said, are not elected to always support staff recommendations “because they are the experts”.
“If that were the case, then we would not need publicly elected boards of education.”
The long-time board chairwoman said updating the board’s and the district’s strategic plans on a regular basis is also a priority, as is continuing to advocate for capital funds from the Ministry of Education for new and replacement schools in the district.
“We must insist that government funding for K to 12 education is fair, stable, predictable and adequate,” Baxter said.
The final priority on her list if re-elected is to complete negotiations on new contracts with both the Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents Central Okanagan School District support staff.
Voters will go to the polls Oct. 20 to elect board of education trustees, as well as municipal council mayors and councillors.
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