Kitimat trustee candidates answer questions

The Northern Sentinel sent out three questions to school board trustee candidates.

Given the absence of an all-candidates style meeting for Board of Education Trustee candidates, the Sentinel sent three questions to each of the Kitimat area’s three candidates seeking one of the two available spots.

The questions were: 1) On the subject of Kitimat City High, there was talk of moving it inside of MEMSS. What is your position on that idea?; 2) What do you foresee as the biggest issue or challenge for the school board over the next four years?; 3) What will you hope to have accomplished in a term on the school board?

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TIM CARTER:

I would like to thank the teacher’s as, at great expense to themselves, they have made everyone aware of the most important issue facing our schools; that is, class size and composition.

Class size and composition needs limits, but there must be some flexibility, with very strict controls. Adequate funding must be in place for this. This should be in the Teacher’s contract.

Adequate funding for schools is difficult, but I will work with the B. C. School Trustees Association to lobby for this. My work history at Alcan doing budgets and setting priorities will help in my fight to get adequate funding for Kitimat schools.

There have been discussions about moving City High from Cormorant school to MEMSS. In my opinion, this move should not happen. City High was set up as an alternative and has been extremely successful. City High has been  used as a model for other districts. This move would be detrimental to both sets of students.

During my term, I would like to see that Kildala School is upgraded and earthquake-proofed. Also, I would like to see a trades program implemented. This would also require upgrading our current shop equipment.

Being retired, I am able to devote substantial time to Board matters, and also I do not have any conflicts of interest with the board.

RAYMOND RAJ

1) No! I do not support moving of Kitimat City High back into the Mt. Elizabeth Middle Secondary School building. Kitimat City High was formed as an alternate school, away from high school, to create a comfortable and better environment for our special students.

2) The biggest challenge for our school district, over next four years, is declining enrolment which brings fewer dollars. Between September 2013 to October 2014 our district enrolment dropped by over 200 students and for Kitimat it was over 60 fewer students. Shortage of teachers will be an issue during this time frame.

3) I would like to accomplish making Coast Mts School District a high performance rural school district.

I would also like to maintain our school district’s high standard amongst the 60 school districts.

MARGARET WARCUP

1) I do not agree with the potential move.  My response when I heard of the potential move was “WHAT”.   I proceeded to inquire with parents, students, educators and other stakeholders including calling the Ministry of Education to determine what the policies on alternate schools are.  I researched best practices and what other districts are doing. I can agree with the shift in the philosophy that all students should be integrated, included and have access to all services. However, I see that this can be done while still having a separate, safe, student chosen school dedicated to alternate education.

2) Advocating for adequate and accountable use of public education resources for an effective system. One that enables all students to reach their fullest individual potential.

3) I am committed to setting and accomplishing District achievement goals. I will welcome input from educators, parents, students and other stakeholders while addressing needs for all students including services for students with special needs.

As a strategic leader I make decisions by weighing all input, looking at effectiveness, efficiencies, accountabilities and access factors.

From the board level I will support partnerships between education, health, social services and business’ so services are maximized for our students’ successful futures.