Once an international swimmer, Marcela Boggio is hoping to make a splash in local politics.
Boggio is running for one of the two seats representing Pitt Meadows on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School Board.
Boggio was world class in representing her native Peru in the pool, and held a national record in the 200m butterfly that stood for many years.
“That gave me the discipline and strength I have now,” she said.
Boggio filed papers to run in the 2011 election, but seeing Eleanor Palis and Sarah Nelson running, she was happy with the strength of the candidates, and backed out. There was no election, as Palis and Nelson ran unopposed.
“I knew they were going to do a great job,” said Boggio.
Palis is running again, but Nelson has bowed out of local politics, creating a vacancy that Boggio wants to fill.
She kept in touch with Nelson, talking about education issues. She still considers Palis an effective trustee.
“If I was not running myself, she would have my vote for sure,” she said. “She’s the mother of three great kids, and she has great values. For me, values are really important.”
One of her opponents, Korleen Carreras, is running as a part of a team that enjoys the support of the Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association and CUPE union locals. Boggio worries that the unionized employees might have too much influence on trustees if the “slate” candidates are elected.
“People’s voices are not going to be heard,” she said. “I support teachers – I love teachers and I respect them a lot – but students come first.”
The fourth trustee candidate running for Pitt Meadows is Allie Taylor.
Boggio would try to bring a strong sense of “social justice” to the board table, she said.
“It makes me sick, as a mom, knowing there are kids who go to school without breakfast, or who have issues at home and nobody they can talk to.”
“I want to help less privileged schools, and to create community.”
Boggio has a career as a hotel and restaurant manager, but has taken a leave from it while raising her family. She has a 15-year-old who attends Pitt Meadows secondary, and a seven-year-old at Pitt Meadows Elementary. She has served on the district parent advisory council, and the Pitt elementary PAC, and with other local charities.