A new school board slate has joined the election race in Surrey.
The ACT Now Surrey team — ACT standing for “Action Consultation and Transparency” — announced three trustee candidates on Thursday: part-time substitute teacher Niovi Patsicakis, registered nurse Dupinder Kaur Saran and Aronjit Lageri, who works a manager with Central Health for the Medical Imaging Division.
The team says if elected, it will focus on “providing the best possible education for our children, a healthy workplace and learning environment, and an inclusive place for our community to gather, grow, learn, and support each other.”
The three-person slate says they are focused on meeting the needs of Surrey’s diverse population, providing resources for staff and students, and will “prioritize mental and physical health for kids, teachers, school employees and the community.”
Patsicakis and Lageri had previously announced their candidacy with the now defunct Surrey Community Alliance slate, which was disbanded after founder Doug Elford split to run as a councillor with former mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition.
Patsicakis, who has worked as a classroom and learning support teacher, says “action, consultation and transparency has been lacking” in Surrey’s school district.
“That is why we are stepping forward and asking Surrey voters to ACT Now to ensure public education and the future of Surrey are bright,” said Patsicakis, who has served as president of the Association of Surrey Specialist Educators.
She’s also on the board of directors of the Surrey Global Peace Alliance, Canadian Peace Initiative and the Surrey Hospice Society.
Patsicakis said she’s running to ensure the board “meets the court-ordered staffing requirements” and is “committed to taking a stand for children and their right to a quality education, which includes asking for close scrutiny of the upcoming new provincial funding model.”
Newton resident Lageri said “building a strong foundation for our students today, who will be tomorrow’s leaders” drives his passion to be a school trustee.
Saran, meantime, has been a nurse for 20 years and recently launched her Nurse on the Go Home and Healthcare Services business, where she serves as CEO.
She is involved with the Akal Academy, which offers after-school youth programs, volunteers with Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, and is a director with Sikh Seva, which assists international students.
“We can do more to help children living in poverty and attending inner-city schools,” she said in a release, such as improving nutrition programs. We need to work on securing additional funding to help eliminate portables as they are not healthy.”
See more at actnowsurrey.ca.
Other school board slates in the Surrey election include Proudly Surrey, Surrey First and Surrey Students NOW.
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