18 candidates step forward to run to be trustee in Cowichan Valley School District

18 candidates step forward to run to be trustee in Cowichan Valley School District
Cowichan Valley School District/Facebook

In the Cowichan Valley School District election, 18 candidates have put their names forward for the seven trustee seats.

Four incumbent trustees are seeking re-election – Elizabeth Croft, Randy Doman, Johanne Kemmler and Joe Thorne.

Three trustees will not be seeking re-election, meaning there will be at least three new faces at the table following the election.

Non-incumbent candidates are Jason Adair, Shannon Collum, Patricia Dawn, Jen Elmore, Patricia Gaudreault, Laura Interlandi, Janice John-Mitchell, Cindy Lise, Marina Sapozhnikov, Cathy Schmidt, Jeremy Smith, Eduardo Sousa, Jennifer Strachan, and Serena Winterburn.

In 2018, this school board saw eight candidates put their names forward for the seven positions.

Jason Adair

Adair has 16 years of public sector management experience and 20 years experience in developing, managing and delivering large-scale operating and capital budgets.

If elected, his goals are to align student education plans with chosen careers, support pathways to a variety of careers, create post-graduation success plans, and build connections between the community and schools.

Shannon Collum

CHEK News did not hear back from Collum. If information becomes available, this story will be updated to include information about her and her campaign.

Elizabeth Croft

Croft is running for trustee and for a seat on North Cowichan council.

She has served as a trustee for eight years, and has more than 25 years of governance experience on national, local and provincial Boards of Directors for industry associations, non-profits and was a founding member of the Oakdale Neighbourhood Association.

If elected to the school board, her priorities are operationalizing the District Strategic Plan, adding more educational choices, and increasing funding for diverse learners.

In 2018, Croft received the second most votes with 7,314.

Croft’s Facebook page can be found here.

Patricia Dawn

CHEK News could not find contact information or campaign information for Dawn. If information becomes available, this story will be updated to include information about her and her campaign.

Randy Doman

Doman is a parent who has been involved in the public education system since 2009. He has served as a trustee for eight years. He has been a parent volunteer at schools in several roles, and has served as a volunteer coach with the Duncan Basketball Association and been on its board of directors for 30 years.

If re-elected, he plans to work towards an education that values and supports differences in all children, move forward with initiatives to expand student options and choice in education, work with Elders and Indigenous community leaders to develop strategies to support Indigenous students, collaborate with all educational partners, and focus on initiatives that improve literacy, numeracy, and graduation rates.

In 2018, Doman received the fifth most votes with 6,508.

Jen Elmore

CHEK News did not hear back from Elmore. If information becomes available, this story will be updated to include information about her and her campaign.

Patricia Gaudreault

Gaudreault told CHEK News campaign information is not yet available. When it becomes available, this story will be updated to include information about her and her campaign.

Laura Interlandi

Interlandi is the parent of school-aged children and she works as a doula working in perinatal health since 2013.

If elected, she plans to work to improve inclusion, equity, community care, engagement, and innovation.

Interlandi’s Facebook page can be found here.

Janice John-Mitchell

John-Mitchell is a mother of three.

Her Facebook page says her priorities are to ensure the district is running at its optimum level with satisfied staff, and building the best education system for students.

John-Mitchell’s Facebook page can be found here.

Johanne Kemmler

Kemmler was first elected to the board in 2018, and has served in various committees including as vice-chair of the board, chair of the Advisory Committee, vice-chair of the Board Educatino and Business Standing Committee, and member of the Audit Committee. She has served as an executive of CUPE Local 5101 for six years, and has over 25 years experience in the district as an administrative secretary.

If elected, she plans to promote a supportive learning environment for all students, promote equity for students, support mental health, and implementing the district’s strategic plan.

In 2018, Kemmler received the seventh most votes with 6,114.

Kemmler’s Facebook page can be found here.

Cindy Lise

CHEK News did not hear back from Lise. If information becomes available, this story will be updated to include information about her and her campaign.

Marina Sapozhnikov

Sapozhnikov studied medicine in Ukraine, before immigrating to Israel in 1990, then Canada in 2004. She has been working in Canada as a physician in Canada since, and in B.C. since 2013.

At her practice in the Cowichan Valley, she teaches students from the UBC medical school.

Sapozhnikov’s Facebook page can be found here.

Cathy Schmidt

Schmidt was a three term trustee, then chose not to run in the 2018 election. She has decided to return to the work to support kids. She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for her work in the Arts and Education.

If she is elected, she hopes to work with fellow trustees to advocate on behalf of kids.

In the 2014 election, she received the fifth most votes with 4,938.

Jeremy Smith

Smith has three children in grade school and believes that success in schools can be measured by the later success of society as a whole.

If elected, he plans to keep student mental health and awareness in focus for the board,and include alternative learning programs and support Fine Art electives. He also plans to ensure schools provide safe places for students, availability of trained counselling staff, ongoing Mental Health Awareness training for all district employees and look at steps the board can take to ensure students have access to these supports.

Eduardo Sousa

Sousa says he is pursuing a seat on the school board because he is a parent of two young kids.

His priorities if elected will be inclusion and ensuring children in K to 12 schools feel their social environment is supportive, preparing students for resilience in the facing climate change crisis, and ensuring due diligence in making budgetary decisions.

Sousa’s campaign website is in development.

Jennifer Strachan

Strachan recent retired as an executive after 33 years with the RCMP, and has worked with municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government in her work.

If elected, she hopes to implement policies for successful students, safe schools, fiscal stewardship and accountability, and sustainable asset management.

Her Facebook page can be found here.

Joe Thorne

Thorne has served two terms as a school trustee, and four years as a councillor in Duncan. He has also served two years as a knowledge keeper for the B.C. School Trustee Association.

If elected, he hopes to continue his work in supporting students through their education to help more students graduate. He also hopes to rebuild trust with Indigenous communities.

In 2018, Thorne received the sixth most votes with 6,394.

Serena Winterburn

Winterburn is Nehyew (Cree) from treaty 8 territory in Alberta and has lived in the Cowichan Valley for five years.

As trustee she will push for inclusivity, consideration, and preserving core values of diverse peoples.

Winterburn’s Facebook page can be found here.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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