Valentine Crawford: Answers to DPAC questions

DPAC questions emailed to trustee candidates October 28th, at 8:30pm. Answers received from Valentine Crawford November 1st.
What do you think is important to parents in the district?
Parents want their kids going to school knowing that they will be safe, encouraged, supported, and empowered to be great people! This is the foundation for success and that is what every parent wants for their child.

Why are you running for trustee?
I know we are do better for kids. Born and raised in Prince George I dropped out of high school at the end of grade 10 when at a time in my life of being honest about who I was, a young gay man. When I was ready to go back to school the School District was there for me via the TAPS programs. The program had some amazing teachers and social workers that were committed to my success. They believed in my potential and they encouraged me 110% of the time because there was always times that I doubted myself. These people changed my life forever and I believe every kid should have the opportunity and chance to succeed like I did.
Despite the courage of teachers and CUPE members, job action has taken a tremendous toll on everyone in the district and the first job of a trustee must be to restore moral in the district. As we are all partners in education, teachers must begin to feel supported in their classrooms and have their work and ideas validated again. I believe that Trustees must be leaders and a voice for education in our communities and the trustees have become silent on what is most important in our district…students! I Believe in Empowering Educational Leaders, keeping kids in school, and building Student Leaders”

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

I bring with me a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.
• District #57 Trustee (2008-2011)
• 11 years as President of Pride Prince George
• 6 years on College Board of Governors
• 5 year with College of New Caledonia Students’ Union for 5 years
• Commissioner – National Queer Constituency Group Canadian Federation of Students’
• Three years Provincial Executive Rep of the Canadian Federation of Students (BC)
• Four years on the College of New Caledonia Education Council
• 3 years Prince George & District Labour Council Rep.

How will you ensure that the schools in this district are safe and caring places for all students?
A primary function of a trustee is district policy and this is an area I have identified that trustees have let lapsed in our district. I am proposing that we being to phase in Restorative Practices as the means to addressing student behavioural challenges throughout the district, especially bullying.

How do you see your role as trustee in relation to the superintendent and staff?
The Board of Education is the employer! The Board as a whole sets the tone and direction of the district and must have a healthy and strong relationship with the Superintendent of Schools to ensure that the educational needs of students are exceeded and the expectations of the Ministry of Education are met.
District staff must feel safe and confident that they can approach any member of the Board of Education publicly and privately and express their concerns, frustrations and needs.

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

As your Trustee I must put first thing first and build a foundation of trust and openness with each school community. Within the first four months of being elected I will meet with everyone school community to have an open discussion about their schools and their needs and expectations moving forward for the next four years.
Second, I will form a new working relationship with local media so we can open our schools and classrooms up to the entire Community. In addition, on an ongoing bases my goal is to something unique going on in the district to be presented at every Board meeting.
Rebuilding the trust and morality of the district is going to take time and each trustee is going to have to work hard to earn the trust of every school community. I will commit to actively meeting with PAC’s every three months so they have a direct link to the Board to talk about anything they want and will do the same with teachers, support staff, and principles because it is the right thing to do.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
This election is more than just about funding for schools, it is about real ideas that support Healthy and Safe Schools! My vision for this district is built on the platform of; Empowered Teachers, Transparency, Healthy & Safe Schools, and Student Leaders. If we want to move the School District forward we must do it together and it begins by voting for Trustees that are able to express their opinions respectively, work collectively and stand for what is right for our community. I made the decision to stand your for you and family again because I know we can do better and it begins with someone having an honest vision for what we can do together!
Explore my ideas at

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