Name: Gary Cleave
Occupation: communications professional
Q1. What experience do you have in public education?
1: From 1995 to 2009, I worked for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District, first as its communications officer, then as its special project officer. I also did consulting work for three other B.C. school districts during this period. In addition, I was the information officer for the B.C. School Trustees Association from 1976 to 1980. Following are the contributions to public education of which I am most proud: developed student anti-violence program; supported the establishment of school district’s school vandalism prevention tuskers and the Ridge Meadows Educational Foundation; generated significant revenue from non-government sources to fund student learning programs; created a network of school websites to support student learning.
Q2. Why should you be elected to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education?
2. Three of my eight grandchildren are attending local public schools. One just started kindergarten in September at Glenwood elementary. Two others are students at Maple Ridge secondary. More grandchildren are in the pipeline. I want to help prepare them and every other student in our community for life in a rapidly changing, globalized world. We live in a time of ‘tradeable’ jobs. That’s the newly coined term for jobs that can be done anywhere in the world for a tiny fraction of the cost of employing someone here to do them. My worry is that my grandchildren are being prepared for a future when most of today’s jobs in our little corner of the world will be done in China, India, Africa, or the South Pole. Our current school system is modelled on the industrial age. But we are living in the information age. Schools need to adapt to this new reality so they are preparing our children for the future instead of the past. What can a school trustee do to help the change process along? Be a voice for change and keep the need for change in mind when making decisions both large and small.
Q3. What do you feel are the most important issues facing public education, and how do plan to address those issues as a school trustee?
3. In the next few years, the provincial government will be hard pressed to fully fund both health care and education. The board of education will need to insure that every dollar is allocated wisely. Public education, at its core, is about the learning relationship between a student and a teacher. Everything else must support this relationship. Every decision I take as a school trustee will be guided by one principle: What is best for all students?