This will be the first time in 12 years Vanderhoof will have a chance to vote on school district trustees and the decision won’t be an easy one.
Three candidates are running for two spots on the board, all with their own unique attributes. Although they have never sat on a school board before, they at least all seem knowledgeable about what a school trustee does.
(School trustees are responsible for setting overall policy and direction for board budget. They represent interests of the community, parents and students in their area. They do this in part by sitting on numerous education boards and committees.)
During the School District No. 91 Trustee Candidate Forum on Nov. 4 at Elks Hall in Vanderhoof, each candidate made strong points and great lasting impressions.
Jean Johnson spoke about how her father was a trustee growing up so she knows exactly what it takes to fill the role. Although she declined running in the past, she now feels ready to step up. Her motivation now being her own children who also keep her in touch with the school system.
Nadine Frenkel made note that she has worked with various ministry of government and believes her knowledge base would be an asset when it comes to creating and implementing policy. Since all her kids are grown with their own kids, she now has the time and initiative to put forward.
Tom Bulmer’s view was strong, in that he believes education is everything and has proven to not be one who stands on the sidelines. As a new grandparent himself, he has the time and motivation to have a hand in creating his vision for a ‘robust and diverse community’.
See, it’s a tough call. All the candidates have perfectly reasonable desires on why they would like to be on the school board but, who will best fit the role?
Well, Jean has worked in healthcare, specifically quality improvement, sometimes doing things that are ‘not for the faint of heart’. She knows what it takes to work with a team and is currently employed at a pharmacy. It’s clear to me her responsibility of handling medication directly correlates with the position of school trustee. Anyone working in healthcare would (or at least should) have a sense of humanity and strong will with added affinity for children’s livelihoods.
Nadine is a mother and new grandparent who has shown her commitment to not only her children but all children through previous work implementing government policy. She is familiar with union and non union sides of policy and currently works at the John Rustad MLA office. Since the board could be facing five new faces out of seven with this year’s election, in my opinion, it could be quite beneficial to have someone who knows what their doing.
And for Tom, seriously though, who doesn’t know him? He works at community futures, sits on countless boards for community betterment, moderates more events than I can even count within my six month rein, and still he seems to dedicate as much time as it takes to each and every thing he does to make sure the job is done right. Now, with recently becoming a new grandparent, it’s no wonder he wants to have a voice in education. For all who know him this goes without saying, but his voice is not only captivating but persuasive, just the kind of thing a good trustee would have.
So, between Tom Bulmer’s cunning dedication and prosperous community involvement, Nadine Frenkel’s extensive experience working as a policy maker and with aboriginal focus, and Jean Johnson’s family ties and invested interest, it could really be anyones game.
Don’t forget to cast your vote Nov. 15, polls are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Vanderhoof District Office and Cluculz Lake Firehall.