I advocate for support for all students. According to Statistics Canada (2022), there has been an increase of 257,700 (a 3.6% increase) between 2020 and 2022 in the number of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 who perceived their mental health to be fair or poor. This is the middle to high school age group.
I want to address personal and systemic biases, negative values and beliefs in our school district by raising awareness and inquiry. Doing so will address the inequitable outcomes of our diverse student population.
I enjoyed 21 years in the health sector, having worked as a registered nurse for 13 years on Vancouver Island and in the same role in the Caribbean prior to that. I have 17 years in business management.
I acknowledge that for thousands of years the Quw'utsun, Malahat, Ts'uubaa-asatx, Halalt, Penelakut, Stz'uminus, & Lyackson Peoples have walked gently on the traditional unceded territories where we now live, work, and learn.
I subscribe to the notion that teaching and nursing are not simply jobs, but vocations, and I commend educators and all stakeholders in the education system for their hard work in ensuring a positive experience for students, our dear children. I, too, wish to contribute to the well-being and advancement of our youth and have always been a passionate contributor to the education system.
I have had the pleasure of serving as president of the Parent Teacher Association at my eldest daughter’s primary school in the Caribbean right up to the time of my migration to Canada. Having had the opportunity to teach at a college on the beautiful and majestic Vancouver Island for some time has helped me appreciate and empathize with the work involved in being an educator.
I have been fortunate to acquire various skills that align with the governance role of a trustee. I have years of experience planning budgets on a corporate level, both locally and internationally. Locally, I sit as one of the board of directors at the Cowichan Community Future, a non-profit organization. This organization is community-based and provides business financing, where loans are awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises. I believe the voices of our young people are not heard at times. In an effort to continue advocating for the youths, I joined the African Heritage of Vancouver Island Youth Committee, and currently hold the position of president. My studies in change management, leadership, organizational behavior, and governance, which I obtained from my Business Management degree and an MBA, solidifies my confidence in taking on the role as a trustee in school district 79.
My intention is to work with the school board’s dynamic team while collaborating with necessary individuals and bodies to maintain a good environment in the school district; an environment that would encourage great communication while respecting the diversified teams involved in our students' welfare. I would like to contribute to ensuring a learning environment that supports all students through inclusiveness and cultural responsiveness.
Trustworthiness, tolerance, open-mindedness, kindness, respect for all, integrity, and adherence to codes of conduct are some qualities I value. Most of all, I treasure harmony and unity.
Reason for running
As a parent with school-age children, I have a strong desire to contribute to our education system. I would like to see our children gain the best education there is to offer in the public education system. I truly care about the future generation and their prospects.
I recognized and acknowledged the untiring efforts of our school district along with its superintendent who strives to ensure that our school system runs adequately. The assiduous efforts of school district 79, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged me to step forward to contribute. Recognizing that decisions made by school boards directly affect students and their families, I find it important to continue supporting the school district in providing educational spaces that respect diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity for all, tolerance for family values, religion, and Canada's diverse culture.
I want to address personal and systemic biases, negative values and beliefs in our school district by raising awareness and inquiry. Doing so will address the inequitable outcomes of our diverse student population when considering literacy, numeracy, and engagement. Recognizing and respecting multiculturalism, histories and the viewpoints of others is the task of school board trustees.
I want to see more course and program options that relate to the changing times and its environment. Programs which could assist high schoolers to develop and contribute to their own communities by way of entrepreneurship, sustainability, technology, and advancement. I would love to promote more environmental stewardship from k to 12. It is essential that our children’s creativity, skills, and aspirations are fostered, so I would like to see more exploratory programs in the elementary schools. This will foster critical thinking from a very young age.
Mental health is a big issue. Preserving good mental health should be a priority. Every child should feel safe and be allowed to participate without barriers to inclusion. I advocate for support for all students. According to Statistics Canada (2022), there has been an increase of 257,700 (a 3.6% increase) between 2020 and 2022 in the number of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 who perceived their mental health to be fair or poor. This is the middle to high school age group.
I want to see more satisfied staff with better wages and recognition. I recognize the importance and value of all support staff. The friendly bus driver, school duties or office staff who are some of the first people students encounter daily after leaving for school, not to mention the custodial staff who are seldom seen, are all essential for making our schools safe and efficient places.
I want to take every opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders; parents, educators, students, and staff to ensure forward movement is made to support an all-inclusive learning environment. I firmly believe in teamwork and collaboration since there is strength in working as a cohesive whole.
I would like to be an ambassador for the education system in the Cowichan Valley.
To see more please go to my website at janiceforsd79.ca