Dennis Fudge has been on Parent Advisory Committees at the school, district and provincial level, but he still doesn’t think of himself as an education ‘insider’.
“I have a lot of experience with the education system,” says Fudge, who is running for trustee in the Nov. 15 election, “but I think I can still bring an outsider’s view to the table.”
He feels he has developed two specific skills that would serve well on the Board of Education.
“I’m a critical thinker. I look to find problems, and then find ways to fix them. It would be the same process with policies. What isn’t working, and how do we make it better?
“I’m also a numbers person. I find I can spot trends in numbers easier than other people can.”
As an example, he points to a presentation he made to the board on the Foundation Skills Assessment tests, prepared by the Fraser Institute.
“A lot of people don’t like the report, but everybody just looks at the last two pages (where schools are ranked province-wide).”
Fudge looked deeper into the numbers and found some positives for the district and its schools.
“I looked at the single-track French schools, and Lakewood (Lac des Bois) was one of the best in the province.
“Quinson Elementary showed the greatest improvement in the province in scores between Grade 4 and Grade 7. The teachers were clearly doing a very good job there.”
However, while there are some success stories in the district, he knows more can, and must, be done.
“Funding will always be a problem. We need more specialists in the schools. So much has changed in the schools, and we’re not keeping up with what needs to be done.”
Fudge says people don’t think he’s all that serious about things, and he admits that sometimes comes through in his thinking.
“My thinking is different from other people. Of 10 ideas I have, nine might be completely off the wall and won’t work, but one might make a difference.
“The trick is picking out that one.”
He says he wants people to think carefully about their votes for trustees.
“I’m asking people to vote wisely. I think we need to have a good mix of people on the board.”