Meet Your Candidates: School trustee candidates weigh in on the issues

Saanich School District candidates acclaimed in three municipalities

Voters will elect seven trustees for the Saanich School District but the only votes to be cast are coming from the District of Central Saanich.

Elsie McMurphy and Sheila Stelck were acclaimed from the District of North Saanich, along with Nola Silzer from the Town of Sidney and Victoria Martin and Teri Vanwell from the District of Saanich.

As for the District of Central Saanich, three candidates are running for two positions on the board.

We asked each candidate what changes they would like to see in the school district and to outline their top three key initiatives. These are their responses.

Megan Desroches

1. Ensure students leave our schools with a well-rounded education, including critical thinking skills, scientific literacy, arts appreciation, and cultural understanding, so they excel in their future endeavours

2. Safeguard diverse student and educator needs regarding accessibility and inclusion for each and every student so everyone can achieve their greatest individual success

3. With the restored collective agreement language, address teacher recruitment and retention

Education is multi-faceted and too complex for me to bring my own agenda to this position. I firmly believe high-quality public education must be accessible to each and every student as a foundation for a healthy, productive, and engaged community. I will advocate for our stakeholders and have the experience and perspective to cooperatively steward Saanich School District’s continued success and future growth.

Timothy Dunford

I have been deeply involved in the public education system in various roles for twenty years, including having served as a Central Saanich School Trustee 2011 – 2018. I am seeking re-election to a third term. I have been a Central Saanich resident for thirty-three years, and practised law in Victoria for forty years.

My three objectives are:

1. Board Continuity. If re-elected there would still be only three experienced Trustees in seven;

2. With new funding, reinstatement of programs historically limited by inadequate resources;

3. Continued advocacy for Ministry support in the delivery of educational services.

As for the District’s education delivery model, I support completion of the new Information Technology Plan, a continued focus on the best use of resources to achieve our educational priorities, enhanced community profile for and public engagement with District education, and implementation of the expected new funding formula.

Alicia Holman

I am running for Trustee because I care about the challenges we face today and believe solutions start with strengthening public education and safeguarding healthy learning environments.

I grew up on the Peninsula and have lived here for 40 plus years; I raised my family here too. I have first-hand knowledge of SD63 as a student, a parent, an employer and most recently, as Municipal Councillor in Central Saanich for the past five-and-a-half years.

I am excited about the opportunity to serve as your School Trustee and it would be an honour to join the well respected, seasoned professionals who have shaped Saanich Schools (District 63) into an innovative leader in public education. I’m optimistic about the future of public education in British Columbia, and if elected I promise to advocate for the changes identified in SD63’s Strategic Plan 2020 and those that help provide every child the opportunity to achieve their potential.

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