BY BILL PHILLIPS
Avid listeners of 99.3 The Drive may have noticed that they aren’t hearing Ron Polillo on the air these days.
That’s because Polillo, program director for 99.3 The Drive and 101.3 The River, is seeking a seat on the School District 57 board of education. In accordance with the CRTC Guidelines, Polillo and his employer have agreed that he should come off the air during the campaign.
Polillo says becoming a school trustee won’t be too much of an adjustment from one of his many volunteer positions.
“For the past six years I’ve been doing a lot of the same work for St. Mary’s school on the school council, with five years as the school council chair,” he said. “I’ve got a pretty good working knowledge from that perspective.”
St. Mary’s is a private school in the city. Polillo says education has always been important to him and his family.
“Here’s something where I can dedicate my time, my energy and my passion,” he said.
His campaign is focusing on three main issues facing the district. The first is capacity
“It’s no secret that at two, maybe three, schools there are capacity issues,” he said. “I feel that is a real issue this board has to tackle and make some critical decisions about where we go with that.”
Another issue facing the district, and one that goes hand-in-hand with capacity, is catchment areas.
“I believe one of the reasons we have some capacity issues are the catchments,” he said. “We need to really look at the catchments. I know the staff looked at it a little bit last year but the board really didn’t explore it. It’s a controversial and emotional issue, I get that, but it’s something that we need to look it because there are some things that just don’t make sense.”
The third issue he is campaigning on is the classroom, particularly with the curriculum changes brought in a couple of years ago.
“That’s a real big piece, not only for the kids but the staff and the teachers and the administration,” he said. “I want to try to make that classroom the best possible learning environment for the kids.”
Polillo has two daughters in high school, which is also an impetus to put his name forward.
“I know how important a good education will be for my two daughters and for our future generations,” he said. “I want the best education for my children and all our students.”
Polillo has been very involved in community organizations over the years serving six years on St. Mary’s school council and he is no longer serving on that council. He has been a member of the Prince George Italian Club for 10 years and served as president for three years. He is a former executive member for the North Cariboo Senior Soccer Association and currently plays in the Prince George Soccer Association. He is a long-time soccer referee, having refereed at every level in the city including the highest level, university soccer.
He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and I have emceed more than 300 community events over the last quarter century.
There are 11 candidates seeking one of five Prince George seats on the board of education.