More Funding for Schools
School trustees need to play a more active role in advocating for funds to meet the needs of our system. The education system continues to be eroded by budget cuts and the adoption of policies that negatively impact student learning and the school communities they serve. The provincial government continues to download the burden of having to find money to meet the diverse needs of Vancouver's students. The "one size fits all" assignment of student funding has left many of our poorest families with fewer and fewer learning opportunities. Getting funding for unmet student needs has become a bureaucratic nightmare. This must change.
Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
This is a top priority. It is critical to engage and take direction from Vancouver’s Indigenous communities. Progressive change may mean having to have difficult discussions and make difficult decisions. We need to continue building relationships and remove the systemic barriers to correct the damage that has be done to our Indigenous families.
We are in a climate emergency. Much more needs to be done. It is urgent that we reduce school district emissions and adopt greener practises. When school boards take the lead in the effort to address climate change, we are setting an example for the students in our system to inspire them to continue this work into the future.
Taking a Strong Stance on Anti-Racism and Non-Discriminatory Practices
Many years ago, I was involved in helping to formulate the Vancouver School district’s employment equity policy. I was also one of the co-chief negotiators that bargained teacher collective agreement language to implement equity in teacher hiring. We need to continue making progress in eliminating racism and other discriminatory systemic practises, not only in our classrooms but in the broader operations of the school board.
Meeting Diverse Needs
The Vancouver school district has diverse needs. What we used to call “inner city” has become a sad reality in other pockets in the city. Working class families are losing ground and more families are becoming poor. Children go to school hungry and cannot learn. Housing has become unaffordable. Families are forced into not only physical transiency, but educational transiency.
We need to aggressively find ways to support these families. Schools are central community hubs. Neighbourhood schools need to be preserved.
Supporting the Arts
As a result of years of budget cuts, visual and performing arts programs are disappearing. Many schools are fighting to retain the remaining fraction of arts and music programs which still exist. We need to find ways to bring the arts and music back into our schools because these programs are vital to the mental health of students and a valuable part of a well-rounded education.
Supporting democracy and citizen involvement
Protecting and enhancing progressive and democratic movements is a core value for me. As a teacher union activist, I have fought for the rights of teachers and in doing so, protected the learning conditions for our students. As a teacher, I have taught students from kindergarten to Grade 12 and adults in both face-to-face settings as well as online. Finally, as a parent, I watched my own son go through a system where every year from 2002, there were program and staffing cuts. My advocacy and experience highlight my social justice work. My 30 years plus professional and personal experience gives me a deep understanding of how our school board and schools work.
Why I’m ready to lead
I'm not afraid of hard work or asking hard questions. I want to use my skills and experience to build and lead a stronger school board that will enable our students to develop the skills they need to build a better future for themselves and all of us. Serving as a school trustee would be an honour. I would like to be given the opportunity to run as a COPE candidate in this fall’s election.
As a Vancouver School Board Trustee. I will work to develop, and achieve, a vision that would make our schools more inclusive, safe, and equitable for all. I will work to re-vitalize parent, staff, student, and community engagement in voice and decision making. I will work to build relationships with fellow trustees. Together, we can move forward in creating a school system where students thrive and where positive connections are made with parents, students, staff, and the community each school serves. Relationships matter. It is through this collective action that we will achieve a better school system.
-born, raised, and attended Seymour and Queen Alexandra Elementary Schools and Britannia Secondary School in Vancouver’s east side neighborhoods
-currently living in the Hastings Sunrise neighborhood
-parent of a child who attended Franklin Elementary and Templeton Secondary
-over 30 years teaching in Vancouver’s elementary and secondary schools, adult education, and online programs
-Bachelor of Education and Master of Education from UBC
-over 30 years of extensive union activism:
-currently school Anti-Racism lead teacher and chair of school’s Calls to Action Committee
-currently Parent Advisory Committee teacher liaison
-currently teacher representative on BC Labour Heritage Center’s Education Committee
-currently director of BC Teachers Federation Assistance Society
-Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association (VESTA) President and Vice President
-VESTA Status of Women Chair, Anti-Racism Chair, Bargaining Chair
-teacher representative on Vancouver School Board’s Employment Equity, Facilities Planning Committee, Student Learning and Well-Being Committee, and Personnel Committee
-BC Teachers Federation Executive Member at Large
-Provincial BCTF Bargaining Co-Chief Negotiator bargaining equity teacher hiring language
-School based Union Staff Representative for over twenty-five years
-Succeeded in organizing and establishing twinning of Mexico City’s Section 9 Teachers Union with the Vancouver Elementary School Association, 1999
-Canadian Delegate and guest speaker to two Tri-National Coalition to Defend Public Education Conferences to respond to NAFTA’s neo-liberal impacts on education, 2000
-Teacher delegate to Summit of the America’s in Quebec City to protest the Free Trade of the Americas (FTTA),2000
Coastal Jazz Volunteer
Vancouver International Film Festival Volunteer
PUSH Festival Volunteer
FRINGE Festival Volunteer
Reason for running
I'm not afraid of hard work or asking hard questions. I want to use my skills and experience to build and lead a stronger school board that will enable our students to develop the skills they need to build a better future for themselves and all of us.