Poll

Introducing school trustee candidate Peter Moll

Contributor
By Contributor
November 10th, 2014

My name is Peter Moll and I am a candidate for School trustee for District 20. I appreciate the opportunity provided by the Castlegar Source to share my priorities and reasons for running.

I will be committed to the district providing a quality educational experience to every student.

What is a ‘quality educational experience’? Every student needs to have the best possible learning environment in our schools. That consists of excellent instruction; support for those who need it; appropriate challenge; and up to date technology & equipment.

It also means students feeling both safe at school and on their way to and from school.

Furthermore, a quality educational experience is having the opportunity to learn and grow outside the classroom through participating in school activities of their choice such as sports, clubs, public speaking/debating, councils, leadership opportunities, and the arts.

Trustees must be visible, available advocates for students, parents, and the public school system.

Throughout my term in office I will regularly visit Castlegar schools and district facilities. I also look forward to attending meetings with Parent Advisory Councils.

I will listen to concerns from parents and/or students and direct them to the appropriate staff and I will follow-up.

Further, I plan to regularly inform my constituents of major school issues, developments and decisions through the local media.

Determining the annual district budget is one of the most important tasks for the Board. The budget affects programs, staffing levels, transportation, supplies & equipment, maintenance and facilities.

My 14 years experience as a SD20 school administrator at both the elementary and secondary level has given me a very good understanding of the staffing, transportation and equipment/supply needs of our schools.

During my 8 years as Director of Human Resources and Assistant Superintendent it was my responsibility to prepare enrolment projections and recommend school staffing levels in preparation for the budget. I was also involved, with other senior staff, in providing the Board options for maintaining facilities and district programs.

I believe that my experience and knowledge of the budget process will allow me to immediately help the board optimize the annual budget.

The major challenge in setting an appropriate annual budget is that the provincial government provides almost all of the district’s funding. Continuing cuts to education funding (with a spending splurge before each election) greatly reduces the district’s ability to consistently provide a high quality of education. The Board collectively must be active in publicizing, at the local level, details of education funding and how these details affect our programs and schools.

All our employees affect how well the district is able to provide a quality education experience for our students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.  I believe the board must provide leadership in ensuring that our employees feel valued and heard.

I will connect with employees while visiting sites and bring their ideas and concerns to the attention of appropriate staff. I will encourage the Board to have regularly scheduled meetings with employee group representatives. I believe that open and frank dialogue with employees will be bring significant benefit to the district and therefore to our students.

Students living in the more rural communities have additional needs. These students rely on bussing to get them to school and back. I would like to review our bussing options to ensure our students are able to participate in extra-curricular activities that often take place after school.

I would also like to see the Board develop a comprehensive strategic plan with respect to facilities to take away the uncertainty that surrounds some schools.

To conclude, I have had three children complete their schooling in School District 20 and presently have two grandsons attending one of our schools. I have lived in Tarrys for over 25 years, so understand the education challenges of living in a rural community.  My 34 years working in SD20 has left me deeply committed to our district and the public education system. I am well prepared to serve as trustee and would be proud to represent our area

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