Rod Smelser has announced he will be seeking a seat during November’s school trustee election.
Smelser, who’s lived in Maple Ridge since 1979, recently retired after 39 years working for the unemployment insurance agency under the federal government.
The economist is now looking to shift his focus to creating a better school system that can produce more high school graduates.
“Those with incomplete schooling are at a higher risk for unemployment, especially as a person gets older,” he said. “The days of the high-school dropout millionaire are behind us. In today’s world, good careers are the result of good education.”
His main concerns are for the underfunding of public schools and the lack of services in public education. If elected, he promises to be an advocate on behalf of the system.
One of his main goals is to expand trades and vocational training into high schools and to have more post-secondary options for people living in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
“One of my priorities is to increase post-secondary education within Ridge Meadows. We have nearly 100,000 people but no Douglas College campus. School district 42 could take a proactive stance on behalf of our students.”