Lisa Beare is the first person to declare her candidacy for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School Board.
She will run for one of the five Maple Ridge trustee positions in the Nov. 15 local elections. She wanted to get an early start on campaigning.
“It’s my first run, so it’s good to give voters time to get to know me,” said Beare.
She enters school politics at a time when the local board has wrestled with consecutive budgets with shortfalls of more than $5 million, and the entire system has been thrown into chaos by a teachers strike.
Beare attended a parent rally at the office of Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MLA Doug Bing last week, and her first impression is that trustees will have to be convincing and determined to get funding set at a level where the system can be maintained.
“It showed me what an uphill battle this is going to be. It will be a tough fight,” she said.
“I will work hard to build a team that includes students, parents, teachers, staff, and Trustees. By joining together and raising our voices we can affect positive change in the education system. Together we can make a difference.”
Beare does not have children, but has heard the student perspective from her niece, who is in Grade 11.
“She spent her entire 11 yeas in an under-funded system,” Beare said. “I want to be a voice for her.
Bear grew up in Maple Ridge, the oldest of five children.
She is a flight attendant for Air Transat, and is the vice-president of CUPE Local 4078, which represents Vancouver flight attendants with her employer. She served four years on the board of directors for Variety The Children’s Charity, is working on her local government management diploma from the University of Victoria, and is also active in the Canadian Women Voters Congress.
That group “educates and empowers” women to participate in democracy.