Korleen Carreras, trustee.
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
I was first elected to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board in 2014 and during my term, I have been on the following committees: Inclusive Education, Aboriginal Education, Maple Ridge Social Planning Advisory Council, B.C. School Trustees Association Provincial Council, and B.C. School Trustees Association Professional Learning Committee.
I have held elected positions at various non-profit organizations for over 20 years. I am a parent to two school-aged children and understand the current learning environment and the challenges our learners and families face.
• Reason for running:
As a mother with two children in our schools, our family experienced first-hand how the lack of funding and resources was impacting our education system. I ran in 2014 to work towards finding and advocating for solutions so all students could access the tools they needed to be successful. I believe strongly in public education and its ability to be a great equalizer in our society.
I am seeking re-election to continue to advocate, and be that strong voice, for a fully funded public education system where all learners can be successful.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
• Funding: Adequate and predictable funding in our school system has been, and will continue to be, a significant area of necessary advocacy for the coming term.
I will continue to advocate for increased funding for special education, youth mental wellness, capital investment from the province for our growing district, and flexibility to direct our funding towards the local needs of our school community.
Some of the avenues for this advocacy are through the BCSTA (provincial council and AGM), submissions to the B.C. Government Select Standing Committee on Finance, working with elected officials at various levels of government, and with our partner groups (Student Voice, CUPE, DPAC, MRTA, MRPVPA) for a united voice and solutions.
• Art Education: As a retired dance teacher and the daughter of a music and drama teacher, I can appreciate the importance of art education in our schools.
Not only do fine arts make our communities more vibrant, they also create strong school communities, support youth mental wellness, and increase academic participation.
The school district’s facility review that was released in 2015 identified significant support from the community for an arts academy in our district.
I will continue to find ways to increase our fine arts specialists in elementary schools with the goal of having a specialist in every school, and build on our 2015 facilities plan to have a fine arts academy at the secondary level.
• Twitter: @korleencarreras