By Loreth Beswetherick
Two Whistler candidates have announced their intention to run for the two school trustee seats up for grabs in the Nov. 20 elections.
Incumbent Andrée Janyk has thrown her hat into the ring and said she will be seeking a second term in office. Alix Nicoll has also stated she will run for an opportunity to represent Whistler’s interests on the Howe Sound school board.
Representation for School District 48 is comprised of seven trustees in total: one from the Pemberton area, two trustees from Whistler, two from Squamish and one each from electoral areas C and D.
One of the Whistler seats has been vacant since Ele Clarke resigned in May this year. Janyk said it was decided at the time no by-election would be held. "We felt it was too close to the end of the term."
She also felt they had already achieved many of the targets they had set for the three-year period.
Janyk, a mother of three, won her trustee spot in 1996 with a campaign to put students at the centre of the education system. This is reflected in the new mission statement prepared by the school board this year.
"The focus of my campaign will be basically to carry on what I have started," said Janyk. "We put together the new mission statement and the next step is to create some goals around it."
The statement reads: "Always supporting learners: valuing individuals, fostering pride and expanding opportunities."
Janyk said she would also like to follow through on a new communications plan for the school board.
She said in her first term she found it took three years to get going and to fully understand the function of the school board, the job of a trustee and the relationship of a trustee to provincial and to local issues. She feels she has now laid solid foundations and would like to follow through with another term.
Nicoll was before a judge in Vancouver Wednesday morning being sworn in as a Canadian citizen in preparation for her trustee bid.
"Even though I have been in Canada for 24 years I never really got around to becoming a Canadian."
Nicoll, a mother of three, has been a full-time Whistler resident for the past five years but she has been coming to the area, on and off, for 24 years. "I have known the community for a long time and I know Andrée well. I think the two of us can work well together," she said.
"I think children are our future and they are Whistler’s future and we owe them the best education we can possibly give them to set them off for the next challenge. I think it’s incredibly important for people who are involved with children and who have kids in the school system to get involved. This is my way of doing it."
Nicoll was head of two parent advisory councils in the Toronto area. She heads up Whistler’s joint youth committee which serves as a liaison between the high school and the municipality’s parks and recreation department to put on programs at the high school. Nicoll and Janyk are currently spearheading a safe community initiative. Neither are aware of anyone else who has expressed an interest in running at this stage.
Last year there were three candidates for the two seats — Janyk, Clarke and Laurie Vance.