Katie Sullivan, trustee.
Retired elementary school principal.
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
BSc, Diploma in Special Education, Masters of Sc. in Educational Leadership.
Even though a background in education is not essential to being an effective trustee, I do believe it may be an asset to have at least one member on the board who understands first-hand how the decisions we make can directly affect students and the operation of our schools.
I strongly believe in consultation and collaboration. Gaining as much input as possible from all stakeholders before making important decisions is something I have always stood by. As a school principal, I believed in an open door policy; listening to parents’ and students’ concerns and then working together to resolve outstanding issues.
• Reason for running:
I am running because I loved my job as a teacher and principal. Education has been my career, but it has also been my passion. I would like to continue to be able to contribute to the decisions that go into providing our children with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in life. My family has lived in Pitt Meadows for over 90 years. I care about this community and would welcome the opportunity to represent our citizens on the board of education.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
In recent years, we have seen significant changes in the district; implementation of new curriculum, new reporting formats, increases in the use of technology, and the opening of a new school next September. Our district has done an excellent job of staying current and relevant within the confines of what sometimes feels like inadequate funding.
One of the main issues that is negatively impacting our schools and students’ learning experiences is the teacher shortage. This will continue to be a problem. Recruitment outside of our province has not been very successful because of the high cost of living in the Lower Mainland.
As well, SFU recently extended its teacher training program by an additional semester, which will impact the number of new teachers available to hire next year. Recruitment and retention of teachers is an issue that we need to look at closely.