Local Government Elections 2018: Meet your School District 51 Trustee candidates

The three candidates running for the Area D School District 51 trustee seat

Three candidates are running for the Area D/Rural Grand Forks trustee seat on the School District 51 board.

Bronwen Bird

My name is Bronwen Bird and I am excited to be running for school trustee in Area D. I recently moved to Grand Forks to be with my partner after living and working in Nelson for the last four years. I received my Bachelor of Arts in History from SFU in 2011 and my Master of Archival Studies from UBC in 2014.

I strongly believe in the importance of excellent education. My school experience in elementary and secondary school was very positive and adequately prepared me for post-secondary education and the work force. I want to see every student in our school district have the same positive experience that I did, where school is a welcoming and supportive community, and you are prepared for life after graduation.

I care deeply about the health and wellbeing of young people. It has only been a few years since I was a student, so I understand the challenges and pressures that students feel in school. I felt them too and I know how beneficial it is to have teachers and resources available when the pressures of school and life are too much to handle alone. My partner’s children attend school in Grand Forks and so I want to ensure that their needs, and the needs of every student, are being met.

It is important that our children are educated and healthy so that they can be positive contributors to our community. Our children are the leaders of the future. As a school trustee I will work together with the other trustees to continue the good work of our school board to ensure that our students are receiving the best education and support they need today so that they can succeed and become the leaders of tomorrow.

Learn more about me and ask me questions on my Facebook page: Bronwen Bird for School Trustee Area D – Rural Grand Forks.

Valerie Rich

Grand Forks has been my home for over 18 years. A wonderful and fascinating place to live. Prior to retiring here we operated a successful contracting company for years. When my husband and I decided to retire here schooling was high on our agenda since we were raising two grandsons ages 6 and 13 years at the time who now are both working adults. My husband and I volunteered for one to one reader program at Hutton, the PAC and many school activities. I participated in a literacy tutor course through CBAL.

We had already experienced many years of public education raising our children. Now I have a granddaughter attending school here. Throughout the years I have visited many schools and have witnessed many changes in the education system some good some not so good. They say a work in progress.

My late husband and I spent five years in the GFBMX club, he as president and I as secretary/treasurer. The parents and kids were an amazing group of people. We especially enjoyed the connection to the community.

I have advocated for parents and kids who were having struggles navigating the school system. I have attended many board meetings and kept current with issues. Today I would like to see more transparency and accessibility for the parents so they can have a stronger voice in their children’s education. I would like to see district office administration costs come down and the money channelled back into our schools for our kids. Most of all I would like the GFSS cafeteria reopened. This is a social and educational hub for the kids as opposed to the Shell.

I would like to engage the community in building and maintaining our school system that reflects our societal values. I have only one vote on the board so teamwork is essential. We all bring diversity and different experiences to the table. Most of all I am open minded and accessible. Education is key to our children’s future and society as a whole. Most importantly do vote.

Terry Strohmann

Making Grand Forks my home for the past eight years, I enjoy the community I have come to know. Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan I can appreciate living in a small town that has strong community values. Farm life taught me hard work, good values, morals and respect. I see this in our community. Moving to B.C. 30 years ago I began as a forestry research technician for eight years. I wanted to expand my skills and knowledge and started a carpentry apprenticeship. As a red seal carpenter I have worked in the construction industry for the past 22 years. Managing commercial projects as a site superintendent I oversaw subtrades, manpower, budget, and schedule, giving me experience and knowledge that can be applied to the school board trustee position.

We have three children that attended school in Grand Forks, I will offer a non-biased opinion as our children have since completed schooling. Some of my core beliefs I feel strongly about would be:

Stop bullying in our schools, not just here but across the country.

Get back to the basics of learning, helping our children to succeed in life

School involvement in our community and what it has to offer

Equal opportunity for all students, supporting students wanting to better themselves

Focus on family, education and physical activity

With your support I will be your voice, working with School District 51, the community and the surrounding area to help make Grand Forks the best place to receive an education. Today’s children are tomorrow’s future.

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