To some people, “collaboration” sounds like a government buzzword. For me, it’s one of the values closest to my heart, and a principle one that I try every day to live by. Collaboration is incredibly important, and incredibly difficult. The more complicated a problem is, and the more daunting a challenge becomes, the more it is essential to give everyone who has a stake the chance to get involved in the solution. This is never the easy way, but it’s the only way to get something done right. It’s been my experience that ideas born in a boardroom almost never come out right. Change in education means change for families, teachers, schools, administrators, bureaucrats, and of course students. That means that we should expect Trustees to reach out, hear different perspectives, and do the difficult work of building shared solutions.
If elected to serve as Trustee, my commitment to you is that I will be as collaborative as possible in making decisions that matter. This means that I will be open to working with many different partners, including:
First and foremost, I believe that communities are an incredible resource to meet the challenges facing our education system. Families, neighbours and community groups have a wealth of ideas and wisdom that needs to be heard by decision makers. Communities today expect to be involved in decisions that affect them, and they hold elected representatives to a higher standard.
The professional men and women who work every day to help our children grow see firsthand what matters most in education. Too often we get fixated on teacher salaries (which is itself an extremely important issue) and we forget that the people in classrooms everyday have an essential perspective on what needs to change and how to make change work.
The provincial government
Ward H needs a trustee who can bridge differences instead of just trying to shame the government into giving us more money. In my career, I’ve seen first-hand how working openly with government and the community builds trust, and makes big changes possible. A strong and constructive working relationship with the provincial government will have more impact than shaking our fists and blaming others.
The City of Edmonton
My vision for public education includes working with all of our partners to get results. City of Edmonton councilors have demonstrated a commitment to keeping mature neighbourhoods viable, and we’ve seen the impact of this support on planning and investment. The City is an important partner, and the Public School Board should be working toward shared priorities instead of each planning separately.
Agencies, businesses, leaders and other organizations in our communities
I strongly believe that schools should play a role as active partners within their communities. This means building relationships, agreements, and mutual ventures with those outside the education system. The net benefit of collaboration beyond the classroom is stronger programs, families and neighbourhoods to help our children reach their full potential.