Four school trustee candidates see challenging times ahead 

Four candidates are running for two positions as Whistler’s school board trustees in the upcoming school board elections, which run concurrently with the municipal elections.

Their jobs, if elected, will be to sit on the school board for the Howe Sound School District, ensuring that the local community has a voice in education at the board table.

The organization has 500 employees, about 4,500 students and stretches from Squamish to Pemberton.

The new candidates seeking election are Don Brett, Bea Gonzalez and Richard Wyne.

Incumbent Andrée Janyk is also seeking re-election after six years of school trustee experience. Her current co-trustee Alix Nicoll has decided not to run again.

"I think it’s important to have someone who creates some continuity with this community to the board," said Janyk.

"When you get involved in projects, you want to see them through."

One of the major projects that she recently spearheaded is the naming of the district’s charitable number.

The Success Foundation is a way to bring more funds into the district she said.

"Ultimately we can support programs like early reading and early mathematics that will increase the ability for our children to perform."

Believing communication to be key to the collaboration between schools and parents, Janyk was instrumental in developing a district Web page as part of a communication plan.

Another project she has worked on in the past six years is the development of the foreign student program which has grown from five to 90 pupils.

She also developed the district’s mission statement, Always Supporting Learners.

If elected she is hoping she can bring to fruition even more ideas.

"I think at this point in time I will still be a valuable contributor and I will create that consistency that I think this region needs at the board table."

Janyk said she has always been passionate about education having three children who have or are graduating from Whistler Secondary.

In addition to being involved with the Parent Advisory Committees in West Vancouver and Whistler in the past, Janyk has also been elected three years and running by her fellow trustees to the British Columbia Public School Employers Association.

"I’ve been very active at the provincial level in the hopes that I can bring more information back to this district and ultimately help this community," she said.

She is also president of the Whistler Youth Soccer Club and coaches the high school boys and girls soccer teams.

The upcoming years are going to be a very important and active time in education, she said.

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