Name: Mary Flavelle
Occupation: director of training and support services for a not-for-profit community living agency.
Q1. What experience do you have in public education?
1: I am a former public school teacher with experience at the elementary and secondary levels and I have taught in three provinces.
Q2. Why should you be elected to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education?
2. I believe voters will find that I have a strong set of qualifications and past experiences that make me well qualified to serve as a trustee. I also believe I can do a good job in the role.
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. Two issues are the projected declining enrollment and reduced funding from government.
Declining enrollment: as you know there have been two school closures – Riverside and Mount Crescent. However, there is growth in the east side of the district which will likely require more school additions. Elementary schools are currently at near capacity and secondary schools at about 93 per cent capacity. Enrollments are projected to decline for the next few years and then stabilize at 2010 levels, increasing slowly. Enrollment across the district will need to be looked at and decisions made in the interests of all.
Reduced funding: there is a projected shortfall for next year of $2.2 million. Administrators across the school district have been consulted to come up with suggestions for cost-saving measures in order to address the deficits. Any decisions made to address budget shortfalls need to consider all options brought forward.
School board trustees need to govern on behalf of all stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, administrators and society at large.