Incumbent school trustee Mickey Kinakin introduces platform

By Contributor
October 29th, 2014

I would like to thank Kyra Hoggan and the Castlegar Source for offering the candidates an opportunity to publically express their views for the upcoming school trustee election in the Castlegar/Robson communities.

I was born in Nelson and have lived in the Castlegar area for the past 40 years.  I have worked at Selkirk College for some 30 years.  I am currently on long term leave from the position of Health and Safety Officer at the College.

It is my belief that children are our most valuable asset.  This belief has sustained me in my 20 year involvement as a school trustee from the Castlegar area. I am a proud father of two fine boys who graduated from Stanley Humphries and are now working in their chosen professional fields.  I have been recently given the blessing of a granddaughter.

In the raising of my children, I have learned that it is true that it takes a village to raise a child.  A flip-side to that statement is that it takes well raised children to create a rich and vibrant village.  For that reason I am a strong supporter of community schools and community hubs such as at Blueberry Creek School and Robson Elementary, which are our villages. What sense would it make for the school board by its actions to close the doors on these villages?

These two wonderful resources for our community’s children are being dropped or rearranged by School District 20.  This is a great example of the saying “penny wise and pound foolish.  By saving a small expense we are losing a great resource for our community.  What sense does it make?  If elected, I will continue to be a strong advocate for retaining these institutions and hopefully strengthening them in the future.

The involvement of parents in their child’s education is the greatest factor in furthering the child’s school success.  I have helped to initiate and support programs like the language programs that make a close connection between children, parents, and teachers.  For minimum expense this district has produced a maximal learning and cooperating opportunity.

As well, I have attended many school Parent Advisory meetings in all the schools of this end of the school district.  Most of my energy has been spent at Blueberry Creek and Robson Elementary over the last year due to the threat to these facilities. I will continue to strengthen any present or future connection between child, parent, teacher and community.

Working relations are vital to the effective operation of the school district.  Recently, we have witnessed a falling apart of teacher/government relations.  This was the root of the teachers’ strike and lockout of this summer.  Our board had taken various initiatives, singly and through our trustees’ association, to urge the parties to come to some agreement.  I know that the problems are not over, but I do hope and will work all I can to promote harmony between the parties.

I have a great deal of respect for the support staff that works for the school district.  These are the bus drivers, crossing guards, custodians, trades people, and all the educational aides.  These individuals are the first and the last to see the children in our schools.  There work is vital to the effective operations of our district

The troubled relations between the school district and its staff is due to such actions as the recent teacher’s strike/lockout and the several years of financial and staff reductions  I plan to work hard over my term as a trustee to improve the relations with our workers, both teaching and non teaching.

Finally I would like to say that I support all initiatives to gain more funding from the government.  I think we all want better funding for our  school but I think we should be most concerned about how we spend the funding we have.  As an example, Premier Christie Clark is not closing the Blueberry Creek or the Robson school care programs: it is our local school board through its actions that may be doing that.

What most concerns me as a trustee is the way we manage the resources, both financially and in human relations.  We should not be trustees who simply complain about what we do not have, but trustees who first make the best use of the resources we do have.

If you agree with the positions I support, please vote for Mickey Kinakin as your school trustee from the Castlegar/Robson area, November 15, 2014.

Categories: GeneralOp/EdPolitics


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