ELECTION 2014: Meet the Kelowna, West Kelowna school trustee candidates

City of Kelowna, District of West Kelowna both have a race for the board of education seats

  • Oct. 31, 2014 4:00 p.m.

City of Kelowna voters are asked to elect four school trustees from a field of 10 candidates:

ScottScott Aaltonen passionately wants to keep the Central Okanagan School District on the right path to increase literacy and higher graduation rates. He has two children, one in school, and is focused on literacy issues. He is an entrepreneur and says he would like to focus on integrating technology into the classroom, literacy in the primary grades and advocating for sustainable and predictable funding from the Ministry of Education.

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Nick AubinNick Aubin is a father with young children in the school system who wants to focus on putting students first. He intends to do this by supporting efforts to increase and sustain graduation and literacy rates, advocating for better support in the classrooms and ensuring that classrooms and facilities meet current and future needs. He sits on a variety of committees and boards—provincial-level regulatory board public appointee for the College of Registered Massage Therapists, treasurer for the Uptown Rutland Business Improvement Association and the South Okanagan Notary Chapter

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JoyceJoyce Brinkerhoff has been on the board for one term and says her goal, if re-elected, is to continue promoting the Central Okanagan School District’s mission to help children become life-long learners. She intends to continue “modelling and encouraging collaboration and team-building” at all levels and says she hopes to faithfully serve the community by being fiscally responsible, while recognizing the value which comes back to everyone by investing in youth.

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Sharlene DrohomereskiSharlene Drohomereski was born and raised in Rutland. Drohomereski graduated from Springvalley Secondary School with honours in 1989. She has two children and has been married for over 20 years, dedicating 15 of those to being a parent volunteer in the public education system. She has served as an executive member on various Parent Advisory Councils and the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council as well as a community representative to the Central Okanagan Bursary and Scholarship Society. She has also been on the District Human Rights Committee and numerous other committees. She believes the public education system is a valuable and necessary component of our community and is committed to ensuring that all students receive the best education possible.

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Chris GormanChris Gorman has served one term as a trustee and has one child enrolled in the system, with another to start in September 2015.

“Over the past three years, I have supported innovation in our classrooms, interaction with students and teachers to understand their needs, interests and ambitions and tackled tough issues facing our education system,” he says in his campaign statement. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Sauder School of Business and has worked in international shipping, insurance and as an executive assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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Lee MossmanLee Mossman is the father of two daughters who went through the local school system. He served on several Parent Advisory Councils and was on the first School Parent Council at Raymer Elementary. “I have a fondness for the many wonderful people I met while being involved in the school system and would like to continue on as a voice for quality education,” he says on his election website. He has lived in Kelowna for 30 years, was president of CUPE Local 228 and has 15 years of labour-management relations experience, including bargaining, mediation and arbitration.

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Peter PagPeter Pagliocchini worked as a teacher for 34 years, the majority in the Central Okanagan. He retired in June, but says his passion for education remains. He has been married for 31 years and has three children, and was the first recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award. As a trustee with front-line experience, he pledges to put funding that supports the educational needs of students at the top of the list.

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Lee-Ann Tiede works in the technology sector, in administration, and has been active in Parent Advisory Councils. She is a church volunteer, with Trinity Baptist, and believes that after the recent labour issues, it is time for the boards of education to return to the issue that unites—the students. She has travelled to Nepal to work in an orphanage and build a church and says this changed her understanding of education— “it is an experience, not just going to class.”

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Rolli CacchoniRolli  Cacchioni worked his way up to principal in the Central Okanagan School District and is currently serving on the board of education. He has volunteered extensively in the community—chairman of the City of Kelowna Advisory Planning Commission, director of the Rutland Residents’ Association—and worked as an adjunct professor in the faculty of education at UBCO. He is focused on continuing to advocate for the provision of adequate, sustainable and predictable funding for schools and has a number of priorities for the coming term. From curriculum changes to focusing on graduation rates and supporting First Nations students, he has developed a long list of ways he believes the board can provide strong leadership.

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MurliMurli Pendharkar was a teacher, principal,and superintendent of schools who worked in Africa, Saskatchewan, B.C., India and China. He wants to be a trustee to give back to the community in his retirement years, a role he has served before. He has served as the board chairman for a board of education and says he believes school boards are relevant because they provide a place parents can contact if they have problems the school principal is unable to address. His focus is on advocating for the highest amount of resources for local schools. He has two children and five grandchildren.

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District of West Kelowna voters are asked to elect one trustee from a field of 2 candidates

Julia FraserJulia Fraser has one term as a school trustee under her belt. She had an 18-year-old son, who graduated from Mt. Boucherie Secondary School, and sadly passed away, and has a daughter in Grade 4.

“After the loss of her son, (I’m) committed more than ever to ensuring that education is a priority for the Government of B.C. and to advocating for more funding to run the schools and to implement important education programming for students,” she writes in her campaign statement. She volunteered in the school system heavily and has been in business for 27 years, primarily working in sales.

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Tina PomponioThis is the second election Tina Pomponio has put her name forward for school trustee in West Kelowna. A mother of three kids who all went through the school system in West Kelowna, Pomponio has been involved in sports on the Westside for years, whether at the school level as a parent manager or with the Liquid Lightning Swim Club as an assistant coach for the past 14 years. “I think we need a change on the board,” she said. “I think we need to focus on the students and advocate for all of the students in the district.”

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Peachland trustee Moyra Baxter and District of Lake Country Deb Butler have been elected by acclamation.

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