Kate Cooke running for school trustee
Kate Cooke has seen the school system in Prince George from one side.
Now she wants to see it from another side, bringing her previous experience with her.
"I took part in the process of school closures the district went through a few years ago," says Cooke, a candidate in the Nov. 19 trustee election. "I also took part in the sibling registration process.
"I like working with policies, but I think we have to find a way to make them simpler, so people can understand them."
She feels many current school policies are written "in a jargon no one understands."
"The Sustainability Committee (in charge of the school closure process), made up solely of board office staff, had created a jigsaw puzzle plan with very little flexibility. It was a recipe for conflict and exclusion."
Cooke says her main aim as a trustee would be to make things easier to understand for the partner groups in the district.
"I want to bring more accountability to the board office. As it becomes more transparent, accessible, inclusive and responsive, we can make progress on the big issues facing our district."
She ha children in the school system and volunteers at the schools.
"I've been watching the changes in the schools over the last 14 years. It used to be there was a balance between the teachers and the administration. It isn't there anymore, and the students are the ones who lose."
"If there is a return to the local level for teachers' contract bargaining, I am ready to advocate for students and parent interests and a sane balance between teachers and management objectives."
Cooke also sees a need for the district to return to a long-term planning format.
"The district ignored its own 2003 sustainability report in key areas, including the construction of new facilities and configuration changes that would have prevented the big deficit in 2010.
"How can we start over gain and look forward with excitement to the next 10 years of student, teachers, school and district growth plans?"