Election 2014: Rowley has ‘skin in game’ for school board

Running for one of seven seats on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board

  • Oct. 30, 2014 7:00 a.m.

Candidate James Rowley says it is important to have some parents as school board trustees.

He is running for one of the seven seats on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School Board in the Nov. 15 election.

Rowley works as an educator – he is an English as a second language (ESL) teacher for a non-profit organization, and takes a task-based approach to learning.

He also has two young children in the local school system, who learn by the Montessori method.

“My kids sparked my interest in education,” he said.

“Every day you’re looking at their faces. And there’s a responsibility to speak for them, because they can’t vote,” he said. “And there will be fewer homeless people and fewer drug addicts if we raise them well.”

Rowley said trustee candidates who have children in the education system “have some skin in the game.”

Rowley has lived in Maple Ridge since 2007. His wife grew up here, and the family now lives in the house that her grandfather built in Hammond. He has embraced the community, and writes the Hammondforeverhouse blog and started the Hammond Neighbours page on Facebook. That has led to the Hammond Neighbours website. He enjoys these social media projects.

“It’s a collaborative model of community building,” he said.

His other community involvement includes being a member of the Montessori Parent Advisory Council, and he serves as a Beaver Scout leader.

Rowley said he does not want to be adversarial in his approach to winning votes.

“We don’t need to pick fights. We’re all working on the same team.”

With the B.C. Teachers’ Federation signing a six-year collective agreement, school boards should be entering a time of relative stability in the system.

“There’s a great opportunity for collaboration.”

He said education is not being properly funded by the provincial government, and trustees have to “stand up strong, but respectfully.”