Longtime Fleetwood resident and retired teacher Julia Poole has announced she’s running for Surrey school board as an independent in the upcoming Oct. 20 election.
Poole — who worked as a university professor and as a teacher in both public and private schools over a span of 40 years — worked as an educator in Surrey for two decades, and also taught in Finland, China and Japan.
Poole’s platform calls for an “experienced teacher” on the Board of Education, as well as better supports for students and teachers, and support for academic change and assessment practices.
She also promises to push for more collaboration with city hall, and economic developers, if elected.
According to her website, Poole’s passion is to “find new and different ways of engaging at-risk students and those who are physically and mentally challenged.”
It notes she has worked with “struggling learners to use technology to find ways of developing their learning skills.”
“She has been involved in athletics for the first years of teaching setting up district programs and co-ordinating shared equipment of larger apparatus which smaller schools could not afford to purchase,” her biography notes.
In Surrey, Poole worked as a district trainer and helped implement technology into the classroom while working with teachers on special projects in non-traditional areas such as music, art, technology education, home economics, math, and science.
Poole also highlights the teacher shortage in Surrey on her website.
“Last year, I was told that they needed the retirees to return to help cover the lack of substitute teachers,” she wrote. “Many teachers lost their prep time to cover classes for teachers who were ill and many did not receive this recovery time by the end of the school year.”
Poole said the “biggest challenge in the district as a helping teacher was the funding of support to the classroom.”
“Not only the equipping of technology in the classroom but the development of new ways of learning and curriculum. This year across the spectrum of all grades, teachers were asked to change their curriculum and ways of assessing. It has created much stress for the classroom teacher as the ministry no longer provides curriculum instruction and guidelines but expects the individual classroom teacher to create this on their own.”
Poole has also volunteered with the YMCA, and current runs an English Conversation Corner for new Canadians in South Surrey.