Pacific Rim School District six seats up for grabs, one seat acclaimed

Pacific Rim School District six seats up for grabs, one seat acclaimed
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In the Pacific Rim School District, one of seven seats will be acclaimed, and the other six will face an election with nine candidates.

The district has two electoral areas, area 1 covers District of Tofino, District of Ucluelet and Long Beach Electoral Area. This area has one trustee position, and only one person – Cynthia Orr – put their name forward, so she will be acclaimed to the seat.

The second area covers City of Port Alberni, Electoral Areas: Bamfield, Beaufort, Sproat Lake, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and has six seats for these areas. Nine candidates have announced their candidacy and will face an election.

Five of the candidates are incumbents seeking re-election – John Bennie, Rosemarie Buchanan, Pam Craig, Larry Ransom, and Christine Washington.

The remaining four are seeking the seats for the first time – Cherilyn Bray, Janis Joseph, Jen Smith, and Helen Zanette.

In 2018, 9,217 voted in the trustee election.

John Bennie

Bennie has served as trustee since 2002, and hopes to be re-elected to continue his work.

If re-elected, he plans to continue advocacy for sustained and adequate funding of the public education system, support and advocate for hiring Indigenous educators and staff, advocate for the infusion of Indigenous language and culture in the curriculum, continue and increase resources directed towards special needs learners.

In 2018, Bennie received the sixth most votes with 2,184.

Cherilyn Bray

Bray works as a youth care worker in Port Alberni and has volunteered on the PAC at John Howitt Elementry, as a coach with the Alberni Valley Energizers and was on the board of directors for Literacy Alberni.

If elected, her priorities are making sure there is proper funding for alternate education programs, making sure to maintain and expand partnerships with the college for an early start to post-secondary for students, to keep promoting inclusive education and making sure proper supports are available for all students, staff and parents.

In 2018, Bray unsuccessfully ran for the school board, receiving 2,177 votes, seven votes away from gaining a seat on the board.

Bray’s Facebook page can be found here.

Rosemarie Buchanan

Buchanan has served on the school board for 26 years, and believes there is more work for her to do.

If re-elected, she hopes to continue work at the school board level on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, push for full inclusion of stduents, implement a district-wide recycling program, reinstate her knitting group that was interrupted by the pandemic, and continue to advocate for pverty reduction plans and housing plans.

In 2018, Buchanan received the fourth most votes with 2,600.

Buchanan’s Facebook page can be found here.

Pam Craig

Craig was first elected as trustee in 1991 and served until 2002 when her husband developed cancer. She then ran for election again in 2011 and has sat as trustee since. She recently served as the chair of the school board.

If re-elected, her priorities are to keep resources in place for students experiencing mental health issues, maintain the re-engagement efforts for students who haven’t returned to school following the pandemic, and continue the interaction with partner agencies and groups.

In 2018, Craig received the most votes with 3,663.

Janis Joseph

Joseph is a behaviour consultant, parenting coach, and single parent to four graduated teens.

If elected, her priorities are to implement policies so all students are seen, heard and understood. She would also like to see budgets examined to ensure they’re meeting the needs of students.

Joseph’s Facebook page can be found here.

Larry Ransom

In 2018, Ransom received the second most votes with 3,082.

Ransom is a “life-long” resident of the Alberni Valley who retired after a 42-year career with Safeway and Save-On-Foods.

If re-elected, his priorities are to improve the district’s graduation rate by removing barriers to post-secondary opportunities, and plans to do this through dual-credit courses at North Island College as well as encouraging relevant careers courses such as trades, forestry, natural resources, sciences and skills training.

Jen Smith

Smith is a PAC member at John Howitt Elementary and a Board Trustee for the Cherry Creek Water District.

If elected, she plans to work to ensure children are receiving the best education possible.

Smith’s Facebook page can be found here.

Christine Washington

Washington is seeking re-election to continue her work in fighting to protect public education in the district.

If re-elected, she hopes to combat discriminatory behaviours, respect other cultures and traditions, look at non-traditional ways of education, and support teachers.

In 2018, Washington received the fifth most votes with 2,494.

Washington’s Facebook page can be found here.

Helen Zanette

Zanette has served on PACs and the District Parent Advisory Council. Through her work there she has helped organize a number of events including the White Hatter parent presentation in 2019 and 2020, and The Path to Reconciliation in 2019.

If elected, she plans to support parents and family towards equal and quality learning for all.

Zanette’s Facebook page can be found here.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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