School Board: Johnstone, Ron

School District 78: Johnstone, Ron - Trustee Candidate

  • Thu Oct 30th, 2014 11:00am
  • News

Ron Johnstone

Q: Why do you want to become a school trustee and what experience or other qualities would you bring to the table?

A: Over the course of my past six years as a School District 78 Trustee, my passion and commitment to education has continued to grow. I am proud to be a part of a community that places such a high value on the education of our youth and I have found the opportunity to work on your behalf as a Trustee to be an extremely rewarding experience. Outlined below is some of the experience I bring to the table:

Six years (2 terms) serving as a Trustee in School District 78

Two consecutive years as School Board Chair (2012 & 2013)

Six years as a Trustee representative on the SD78 AEC (Aboriginal Education Council)

Heavily involved in the creation of the SD78 Board of Education Strategic Plan

Current Trustee Education Committee representative

Trustee representative on the SD78 District Technology Committee

Trustee representative on the UFV (University of the Fraser Valley) Aboriginal Community Council

Current Trustee liaison for Harrison Hot Springs PAC (Parent Advisory Council)

Current Trustee Pro-D Committee representative

Previously served on the SD78

Budget Advisory Committee

Operations and Facilities Committee

Literacy Committee

DPAC (District Parent Advisory Council) – Trustee Liaison

Some of my Qualities:

I am commitment, passionate, thoughtful and respectful.

I am a very good listener who see’s great value in a collaborative, innovative, team approach.

I have a very positive outlook and put a high value on people and the good work they do.

I am open minded and have the skills to learn will embrace opportunities for growth.

Over the next four years, it is my hope that I will continue to have your support in working to ensure that our students have rich, relevant, and successful school experiences in a flexible, safe, caring, and inclusive learning community.

 

Q: What are your top three priorities if you were to become a trustee?

 

A: My three priorities are:

1. To work toward improving graduation rates while maintaining high learning standards.

2. To ensure that students are achieving at the highest level possible while being engaged in their learning

3. To ensure that students are well prepared for the next stage of their lives after graduation from our schools, be that university, college, the trades or work.

My goal is to see that every student is provided with a “top notch” education. I believe that the board can provide students with multiple opportunities to pursue their own areas of interest throughout their school lives. With this approach students will be motivated to stay in school and achieve graduation. I understand that this alone is not good enough, and that by keeping expectations and standards high, they will be well prepared for what is next in their lives.

 

Q:  What education issues do you see as problematic now, and what could be done to address them?

 

A: I am proud to have been part of a team that has helped to overcome many challenges we have faced in this school district. That being said, there are still many challenges ahead of us.

Resources for students with special needs:

School district 78 is located in one of the most vulnerable areas in the Province. Many children attending our schools face significant challenges and in many different areas. Mental health, child obesity, child poverty, learning difficulties, and anxiety – to name a few – are increasing at alarming rates. Like many other jurisdictions our schools struggle with these complex and difficult challenges every day. With limited resources I believe the board must continually look for innovative solutions to support students. A good example of this is the addition of self-regulation strategies and tools that are now being used in classrooms in our elementary schools. This approach is having a very positive impact on teachers, support staff and students by helping children better focus on their learning.

 

Aboriginal Student graduation rates:

During my time on the SD78 Board of Education, I have seen significant improvements with Aboriginal student graduation rates. In fact, over the past six years they have risen from 39% to 68%. This is a significant achievement and a very good example of how a trustee can make a difference by being committed to the Aboriginal Education Council committee work and professional development opportunities available. I am committed to continuing with the important work of addressing and ultimately eliminating the gap (7.5%) separating First Nations youth from the rest of the student population.