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Pitt Meadows school board candidate wants to address post-pandemic mental health

Katie Sullivan seeking second term
Katie Sullivan is running for a second term on school board. (Special to The News)

Pandemic learning gaps and the impact on student mental health is a priority of a school board trustee seeking a second term in Pitt Meadows in the upcoming election.

Katie Sullivan is hoping that she can continue to help guide the work of SD42 for another four years if re-elected on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Sullivan said the impacts on students’ mental health after two and a half years of being educated during a pandemic are real and need to be addressed.

And, she added that in addition to the pandemic, soaring inflation and rising interest rates have affected families and students in the district disproportionately.

Her priorities if elected, said Sullivan, will be to make common sense, thoughtful, and informed decisions on providing quality programming and initiatives for students. This can be accomplished by building relationships and consulting with various stakeholders in the district and the community, she noted.

At the same time Sullivan also wants to ensure district buildings and facilities, “require the attention they need to provide safe and comfortable environments for the staff and students.”

“More than ever we need to ensure all our students are provided the supports needed to be successful,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan’s family have a long history in Pitt Meadows and have lived and worked in the community for more than 95 years.

“My husband and I have raised our four children in Pitt Meadows, and we now have grandchildren attending school in SD42,” she said.

Sullivan noted how passionate she is about education. She was a former classroom teacher, a former support teacher for students with diverse needs, and a former school principal in the district.

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The past four years have seen Sullivan as trustee liaison on several committees including: the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee, the Municipal Advisory on Accessibility and Inclusiveness, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Arts Council, the Ridge Meadows Overdose Community Action Table, and the City of Pitt Meadows Community Support Select Committee.

Some of the most significant work she has helped with over the past term, Sullivan elaborated, has been the Deepening Indigenous Education and Equity Report – that documents the experience of education for Indigenous learners and their families in the district and the impact on their achievement and opportunities for success.

She said she is also looking forward to seeing the district move forward with an action plan to address the many recommendations that have arisen from this Equity Scan, the goal of which is to enter into a genuine and meaningful dialogue about the experience of education for Indigenous learners and respond to create conditions for success.

Sullivan is also proud of the board supported work on anti-racism in district schools.

“I believe my voice as an educator, parent, and grandparent brings a valued perspective to the board table,” she said.

The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Board of Education is made up of five trustees representing Maple Ridge and two trustees representing Pitt Meadows. They are elected every four years at the same time as the mayor and city council for the two municipalities.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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