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Derrick says closing schools not an option for him

We asked all the School District 57 Board of Education candidates to fill out a questionnaire so you may get to know them a little better. We will be running their answers between now and election day.

Trent Derrick

Why are you running for trustee for School District 57?

I believe in a Strong Public School System that is inclusive for all students and I believe that I bring a strong skill set that will be beneficial to School District 57.

What do you think is the single most important issue facing School District 57?

Inclusiveness for all students. Rural Schools deserve the same supports as Urban Schools. Kids who need extra supports should be able to have his or her supports throughout the District no matter what school they attend.

What do you see as the main role of the School District 57 board of trustees?

The main roll is to give direction to administration to set out the guidelines and direction of the School District.

Do you support the current sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) curriculum in schools? Why or why not?

I fully support SOGI. It is more inclusive than the program it replaced. It gives tools to teachers help them teach. It also brings the School District into compliance with the Human Rights Code.

How will you ensure that rural schools are adequately funded, and represented?

I vow not to close any schools. When looking at budgets it is important to look beyond the numbers and look at how your decisions will impact lives. A Trustee needs to listen to peoples stories and take them into consideration when making any decision and work toward a creative solution.

If you have one pet project you would like to accomplish as a school trustee, what would that be?

I want to bring stakeholders together to explore how we can implement a Healthy School Food Program in our District. With over 20 per cent of our students under the poverty line. Healthy foods need to be used as a strategy to help reduce students bad behaviour and improve grades. We have all been hangry or lost concentration when hungry so we should find a way to support students so they can maximize their learning potential.

What do you bring to the board table that no other candidate does?

I am very determined person who is rarely outworked to complete a project. In project management, it is important to empower others, build trust in relationships and be a strong communicator regarding my vision. I have been nominated and won several awards for project management within the Public and Private Sector. I like to be known as someone who gets things done.

Recruitment and retention of teachers and support staff is an ongoing issue. What are your thoughts on ways to keep the district properly staffed?

In my business career, I know retention is less expensive than recruitment. We retain by building safe and respectful work environment for our staff. We need to have open communication with unions and address concerns in a timely manner. So that staff feel respected and appreciated. I have been able to do this in both the Public and Private Sectors.

How will you try to ensure public education funding for School District 57 increases?

Building Relationships with numerous stakeholders and different levels of governments in order to be able to leverage every possible resource available to School District 57 is the first step. We need to be creative with the money we currently receive and become a leader in new initiatives. Once we have explored all options and build a case that we are getting the most out of funding we receive, it is easier to build a case for why we need more funding.


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