Meet the candidates: Delta school board

We asked each civic election candidate in our readership area – Surrey, White Rock and Delta – to submit a written response to one question, in 100 words or less: Why should people vote for you?

Their responses, unedited except for length, are published in our Civic Election tab. Below, Delta’s school trustee candidates respond:

Rhiannon Bennett (Kids Matter)

Having worked professionally with children, youth, and families for over 18 years, I am well-positioned to effectively and respectfully advocate for meaningful engagement among the District, teachers, front line workers, parents, and the community at large.

I have seen first hand the impacts of chronic underfunding on students, staff, and parents.

Val Windsor (Incumbent)

Vice-Chair, Delta Board of Education. My advocacy for public education spans 45 years. I am a: retired teacher, parent and grandparent, past president of the Delta Teachers’ Association and current Vice-Chair of the Delta Board of Education.

Continued advocacy for: increased funding for education, support for students with special needs and class composition that ensures a positive education experience for all students.

Donna Burke (Incumbent)

I am the mother of two teens, one still in public school. I am an advocate for public education. I am a hard-working, full time school trustee.

My role as a parent leader (2003 – 2011) in Delta provided me with a solid foundation for the position of School Trustee.

My time on the Board of Education has enhanced my experience exponentially and deepened my wish to serve the citizens of Delta. Learn more at www.donnaburke.org.

Corinne Atwood

I believe my 25+ years of experience in business management, community development and negotiating lends itself to the process of creating education policy in a constructive and collaborative way.

New voices at the table generally mean new ideas.

Declining enrolment and the current funding formula exacerbate the funding problem and I advocate solutions to fill gaps in the current model.

My past experience also includes Parent Advisory Council President, inner city school Director and life skills program facilitator for kids, grade 4-7.

Carla Qualtrough (Responsible Education and Academic Leadership)

As a person with a disability, mother, and lawyer with a background in human rights, I am committed to ensuring Delta’s education system is inclusive.

It should reflect our diverse community, provide students with individualized supports, and help families ensure children come to school ready to learn.

As a Paralympic medallist, I am passionate about getting kids physically active, and know the role physical literacy and education can play in peoples’ lives.

Please support me and the REAL team.

Laura Thomas

I have a Masters Degree in Educational Studies.

I am an active parent in our local schools, sports clubs and community organizations.

As a trustee, I would bring a vote for solid education foundations, which means having sufficient teachers and teaching assistants in our classrooms.

I know money is tight. So when we need new buildings or computers, or would like to fund special initiatives, our school board should seek partnerships with corporations that operate in Delta or have made a deep, long-term investment in our community.

Fabian Milat (Incumbent, Responsible Education and Academic Leadership)

Top three issues: 1. Learning disability students 2. Reducing administration costs 3. Increased provincial funding.

As a special education teacher currently working on my Masters of Special Education, I bring a unique skill set to the Board table.

Throughout my four terms as a trustee, I have advocated for lower administration costs.

Today, we have the second lowest administration costs in the province.

Dale Saip (Incumbent, Responsible Education and Academic Leadership)

As a Trustee I am responsible to deliver the best K-12 education possible all within budget.

I have a strong record of fiscal management and innovation regarding programs and revenue generation.

Since first being elected in 1987 I have worked hard at providing effective and innovative leadership at the Board level.

My focus as a Trustee is and always has been on the needs of the DELTA School District and its students.

Our schools are good places to be and I pledge to keep it that way!

Brad Sherwin

I ran for Trustee in 2011, and I didn’t win.  But I didn’t quit.

I’ve been involved on a number of levels to help out, from lobbying the Education Ministry about transportation funding to raising awareness about FSA’s and post-secondary preparation.

As a Director with a non-profit charity, I have a good understanding of finances, extensive experience dealing with tight budgets and how to turn dimes into dollars. Find out more at www.DeltaBrad.ca.

Phil Hurt

The dispute between the government and the teachers has dragged on for years I think it would be best for an impartial view focusing on the needs of the students.

I’m the father of two children who are in school in North Delta.

I value children getting a quality education, one that will encourage them to take on whatever life presents to them in the future. Philhurt4trustee.weebly.com.

Susan Fetterkind

Delta school board needs fresh energy and fresh ideas. 

I am a social justice advocate and longtime community volunteer with a business degree, solid financial skills and 14 years IT experience.

My goals are increasing the graduation rate, basic literacy and math skills for all students, and supports for special needs students.

I will advocate for the funding formula to cover basic operating expenses regardless of student numbers. Info: susanfetterkind.weebly.com.

Bruce Reid (Kids Matter)

I am running for School Board Trustee because: 

Restoration of reasonable funding for Public Schools is the crucial issue for school boards.

Our goal is quality education where all students have the opportunity to learn and develop to their full potential.

We will encourage a collegial work environment for all, and reasonable class size and composition levels.

Laura Dixon (Incumbent, Independents Working For You)

As a six year Delta School Trustee and as current Chairperson of the Board of Education, it is my conviction that supporting our public school system is of the utmost importance.

Vote to Re-elect me and I will continue to work hard on your behalf.

Please visit my website at www.lauradixon2014.com to learn more.

Scott Stoilen (Responsible Education and Academic Leadership)

I value that everyone has a right to safe and properly supported public education.

I am a Chartered Professional Accountant and committed to making decisions and choices that benefit all Delta students.

My budget priorities include ensuring the integrity of the classroom is preserved, student engagement and diverse learning needs are supported.

Nick Kanakos (Incumbent, Independents Working for You)

I am a retired teacher, who has taught in Delta for thirty-three years, and I am currently a Delta School Board Trustee.

I understand the education system from the “inside out.”

Over the past three years as a trustee, I have gained valuable experience that assists me in making decisions that are in the best interests of our students.

Note: Delta school trustee candidate Nic Slater (Kids Matter) did not submit a response to the Now.

To read about Delta’s council candidates click here.

Voting day is Nov. 15. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 25 locations. Visit Delta.ca/your-government/elections for the full list.

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