For Maple Ridge trustee
• Name: Elizabeth Taylor.
• Residence: Maple Ridge.
• Occupation/education: n/a.
• Volunteer work: n/a.
Question: Please provide an example of what you have done that qualifies you for school board.
Answer: Most relevant is that I am the past board chair for Alouette Addictions Services. I was a director for four years and chair for five years. I was the co-chair for the Community Living Institute, a grassroots consortium that provided low cost relevant training for community living workers. My current job is manager of children’s special services. I am a parent and was a special needs foster parent for 12 years of children who attended school in Maple Ridge.
Q: Why are you running for trustee?
A: My work in community living continues to go through the same challenges that the education system is currently experiencing. There are newer more innovative methods of supporting children with learning and behavioural challenges. The schools have yet to embrace these methods. Throughout the recent labour unrest, the teachers expressed the frustration supporting the special needs kids. How to provide quality service on a tight budget is my specialty.
Q: What makes you stand out from other candidates?
A: Several years ago I attended a workshop with Dr. Pat Mirenda, a UBC professor and head of Provincial Outreach for Autism. He talked about CAST lesson planning and positive behaviour supports. The number of children diagnosed with autism is increasing yearly. The long-term costs of not educating these children are immense to taxpayers. When the learning milestones are missed, it is difficult for them to catch up or move forward.
Q: How do you see the school district changing in the next 10 years?
A: My vision is that we have a thriving educational system that is inclusive of all learners. I would like to see better use of the facilities. Maintaining large properties that are empty is costly. Also, restraining and secluding/excluding children with behavioural challenges is abusive.
Q: What will be your top priority if elected to school board?
A: Children in this district who are being denied access to education. Discuss further advocacy for funding. Writing letters is a start.