The former executive director of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Rotary Club of Haney, Jesse Sidhu will be running for school board trustee.
The Pitt Meadows resident decided last week that he’s going to run in the Oct. 20 election.
Sidhu is the creative director at Event Checkin, an event planning agency that executes galas, golf tournaments, online auctions, trade shows, fundraisers, product launches, conferences and corporate events.
He has been a resident of Pitt Meadows for 10 years, while his wife and her family have lived in the city for more than 35 years.They have two children in the school system, one entering Grade 3, the other going into Grade 11.
“So I see both sides of the spectrum,” Sidhu said about what he calls a “ key motivating deciding factor” in his decision to run.
Sidhu is the past director of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows branch of KidSport, a national not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance for registration fees and equipment to youth 18 and under.
He also served on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Arts Council from 2012 to 2014.
But it was his involvement with the Rotary Club of Haney that really opened his eyes to issues involving child poverty within the school district. That is what he would first like to tackle in the school system.
“Obviously when the kids are hungry and there’s poverty that’s the first we’ve got to fix,”said Sidhu.
Sidhu has been working with the school district on two projects for the high school system. One is a financial literacy program and the other is a customized career fair.
“Financial literacy is a big void in the high school system and a lot of kids get out into the real world and have zero knowledge about how money works,” explained Sidhu.
Sidhu would like to see more support for teachers with the new curriculum for the upcoming school year.
“When the new curriculum comes into place, there’s been a lot of changes to it, but I don’t think the support has been there and I think the teachers definitely need that,” said Sidhu.
He would also like to see more educational assistants in the school district, and the “gap” closed between the school trustees and council.
“I still think there is a gap with the school trustees and council working together, so I would like to see that improved upon as well,” he said.