Denise MacDonald: Answers to DPAC Questions

DPAC questions emailed to trustee candidates October 28th, at 8:30pm. Answers received from Denise MacDonald November 3rd

1. What do you think is important to parents in the district?

I think one of the main focus of parents in this district is a quality education for their children delivered in a safe, caring and inclusive atmosphere. Secondly to have that education delivered in a cost effective, efficient and cooperative manner, with transparency of decision and delivery methods. Also to ensure that all students have access to this educational system.

2. Why are you running for trustee?

I decided to run for trustee many years ago when I realised how the board had so much affect on my family and my tax dollar. I was unable to run until the completion of our community’s re-building of our school and activity center, and this year that was accomplished. I was shocked at how little public attention and input was given to our board as they made monumental decisions affecting every family and all the taxpayers in this district. This is why I have gone (or viewed the webcast) of every meeting for the past 5 ½ years. Through these years of being in the gallery of board meetings, I also discovered a passion for rural and public education in this province. I believe that the trustee position is very important for the delivery of education and the quality of that education and would be a hard working trustee on behalf of all the students in this district.

3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the role of trustee?

As stated previously, I have been in the gallery for many years, I understand the role of a trustee from watching the previous boards go through the budget process, craft policy and oversee administrations delivery of educational programs in this district. As a member of my School Planning Council and PAC executive for many of those years, I understand the District Achievement Contract, the Superintendents District literacy plan and the role of the board in overseeing these documents implementation. I think I have a large degree of knowledge of the trustee’s role in our education system.

4. How will you ensure that the schools in this district are safe and caring places for all students?

I am committed to making our schools safe and caring places for our students. I believe that this can best be accomplished by supporting and fostering existing policies, by continuing to monitor the full implementation of the Safer schools initiative, to monitor and encourage the ongoing support and enforcement of our districts Code of Conduct and LBGTQ policies and also to continue to support teachers and staff in promoting an inclusive school community.

5. How do you see your role as trustee in relation to the superintendent and staff?

I see our school district structured as an inverted pyramid with the board and Senior Administration at the bottom supporting the Assistant Administration and Principals on the next level, who support the teachers and staff at the school level, who in turn support the students who are at the top of this pyramid. In this structure I see the Trustees role as crafting policy that supports administration to best provide direction to the next level of the pyramid, to oversee the budget process to ensure an efficient and cost effective delivery of this support and to be accountable to parents and the general taxpaying public on the quality of the education being provided to our students.

6. How will you demonstrate and communicate the accountability and transparency of the school board to parents and to the community?

I will model accountability and transparency by being available to all parents and community members on an ongoing basis (please call me at 250-649-5915, 250699-2435 or contact at ) and will make these contacts known and encouraged throughout my term. I will encourage direct communication with myself by continuing to make contact information easily available, by encouraging questions of Board processes/decisions and by meeting with all members of our community to discuss board business within allowable parameters.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

In closing I would add that I have a passion for public education, I believe that not only is it one of the cornerstones of our country, but that it is our contribution to the future and the continuation of all that makes this country great. I am a parent with 2 children in the public school system, will devote myself full time to the job of Trustee and am very aware and knowledgeable of the many issues that face our school district. I vow to work as tirelessly for all students in this district as I have for the students in my community, and the Giscome School/ East Line Activity Center is proof of how hard I work to get a job done.

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