Cherie Delainey came close to getting elected to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board in 2011 – close enough that it convinced her to run again.
Delainey finish sixth. Only five trustees are elected to represent Maple Ridge in School District 42.
In her first time out, she garnered a solid 3,098 votes, but was still well behind Mike Murray, who took the fifth spot with 5,541 votes. He is the current board chair.
Delainey said the election campaign was a great experience, and encouraging.
“It firmed my resolve to stay involved.”
She was motivated to run by a desire to make a difference.
“Instead of complaining about the school system, I decided to do something,” she said.
“I wanted to get involved in my community, and I thought this is something I could handle, and something I could be good at.”
Delainey got behind the Fight HST campaign. The province’s broken promise in bringing in the hated tax is what spurred her to action.
Now she wants to be part of a board that will apply pressure to the government on the issue of education funding.
“We definitely have an underfunded school system, and we need to address that,” she said, citing the oft-quoted statistic that B.C. students receive $1,000 per year less than children in other provinces, on average.
“Everybody has the right to a quality education.”
This election campaign she is not running on her own, but as part of a team of four candidates who are emphasizing the same issues.
“We all have the same values, and the same understanding that we need to encourage the government to come to the table with proper funding for education,” said Delainey.
The mother of three children who have graduated, including two who had special needs, she has first-hand experience with issue of class size and composition, and understands the need for proper supports in schools.
Delainey would also like to see more openness and accountability on the board. She has been to board meetings, and believes the public debate should be more rigorous.
“You don’t see the heart of it – you just see public presentation.”