Name: Mike Murray
Occupation: retired general manager of community development, parks and recreation for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows
Q1. What experience do you have in public education?
1: I am currently a volunteer with the hospital foundation, arts council, North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association and Haney Rotary Club.
Public education and recreation are closely related - they share a fundamental purpose to help citizens achieve their potential. Significant benefits can be gained by collaboration between the two systems.
I authored and implemented the agreement on cooperation and joint use of facilities between SD42 and the parks commission leading to many projects and services benefitting students, including turf fields at schools and after school active kids clubs. The community garden projects resulted from parks and leisure services involvement, as did projects like the Eric Langton Hive. The agreement also led to the alternative school program being located in the Greg Moore Youth Centre during school hours when the centre is not otherwise open and use of the Leisure Centre and arenas by many school classes. Also, my spouse, Nancy, is a recently retired elementary school educator and my daughter is a teacher at New Westminster secondary.
Q2. Why should you be elected to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education?
2. Five reasons to elect me: a strong belief in the importance of a quality public education system (probably the most important legacy we can leave to our future generations); extensive experience working with all levels of government and significant community connections; proven record of delivering projects and services and building positive working relationships with staff, partner groups and government; passion for community service; time to make the necessary commitment to the job.
Q3.What do you feel are the most important issues facing public education, and how do plan to address those issues as a school trustee?
3. The most important issues: helping a very diverse student population achieve their full potential.
The students in our public schools are more diverse economically, ethnically and with special needs than ever before. Helping all of them to achieve success is a challenge given diverse learning styles and needs.
The district has done a great job of responding to this diversity with alternative opportunities and learning models. That is because the most important focus for the board has been and should continue to be providing students with the opportunity to identify their strengths and achieve their potential as contributing members of our society. That should drive the board’s decision making. If I am fortunate enough to be elected, the question I will ask staff to address at the board table when considering their recommendations and options is to what degree the recommended course of action impacts our students’ ability to achieve success.