Ida Campbell is the long-time trustee for Area 4, covering Taylor, Baldonnel, and Two Rivers, and has been elected for another term by acclamation.
Alaska Highway News has sent out a questionnaire to all candidates who filed for a seat on the board, asking them about their experience and education priorities, how they'd handle teacher negotiations, improve teacher recruitment and retention, balance rising enrolment with the need for more schools and more.
Responses are being published as they are received. The answers below have been edited for spelling and grammar only.
Name: Ida Campbell
Occupation: Stay at home grandma, mom, and wife
Highest level of education completed: some college
1. Why did you decide to run for trustee?
I ran because my family believed in giving back to our communities, this was instilled in me at a young age. I chose school trustee because I wanted advocate for children.
2. What experience and skills would you bring to the board of education?
I am a long-standing trustee, I bring history, but moreso I am excited about the new initiatives for the students. I take every opportunity to learn, attend provincial and local professional development. I have the time to commit.
3. What would be your top education priorities if elected, and why?
Being financially accountable, making policies best suited for our district. Continue to support our students and staff.
4. What approach will you take with teacher contract negotiations in 2019?
I have been around as long as provincial bargaining has been, so I have experienced both the positive and negative. I would continue going meetings as needed to learn, and have a positive approach to bargaining. I have no conflict. I can sit on the BCPSEA as our board rep. I will make sure our board has a voice and is engaged in bargaining through the provincial body, and that our board has the bargaining information in a timely manner.
5. What can the district do to improve teacher recruitment and retention?
This is something our district has dealt with as long as I have been a trustee, I will continue doing as much as I can. One of the priorities is finding initiatives to attract staff. Continue lobbying the government in this area, and showcasing the great district we have.
6. What can the district do to increase professional development opportunities for teachers and staff?
Encourage all staff to take the opportunities given in the district, encourage the staff to bring forward professional develop they want, and support them.
7. What role do independent schools play in the education system?
Independent schools have a place in the education system, they give students and parents a choice. Also, they can give great educators an opportunity to do things differently that sometimes doesn’t fit in the public education box.
8. What can the district do to balance class size and composition rules, rising enrolment, and the need for new schools?
Work with the staff, a lot of times they have the answer and keep lobbying for new spaces. Encourage my grandchildren (and other students) to become teachers so there isn’t such a shortage.
9. What can the district do to improve aboriginal graduation rates?
Work with the staff, students, and bands to see what they need. I personally would like to be more educated in this area. This would be one of my personal goals.
10. What is your philosophy on special education, and how can graduation rates be improved?
It shouldn’t be special education, what is good for one student is usually good for the class. Some students needs are different and should be accommodated. Lobby the government on money going into these programs. It shouldn’t matter how many students need different services, they should all receive them.
I love our mission statement, “All of our students will graduate, walking the stage with dignity and grace."
We can encourage and expect every student to their highest potential and this would increase the grad rates. Respect the students.
11. What programs or services do you think the district can spend more on?
We need to keep monitoring the programs to make sure they are working for the money put in. We can always use more money but sometimes hard choices are made because we don’t have the funding. I believe as a trustee I need to keep educating myself on programs and being knowledgeable about these programs that need to stay and are helping the most students.
12. What programs or services do you think the district can spend less on?
I don’t know of any programs we could spend less on, but, as the question above, I do believe we need to financially accountable and ensure the monies are spent the best way for this district, staff, and students.
Finish this sentence: Students today are…
... far more experienced, have opportunities to be creative thinkers, encouraged to be the best for the world. Our district helps one student at a time and will continue to.
What were your favorite subjects in school?
I didn’t have a favorite subject; I loved school, and enjoyed all the after school, and lunch-time programs. Student council, which would be similar to leadership class.
Which teacher had the most impact on you and why?
Mr. Coats, he encouraged me to be myself, speak out with respect.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life?
Be honest, respectful to others and kind to yours.
Want to know more about Ida Campbell? Call her at 250-789-3301 or 250-262-5971, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at email@example.com.