Marshall Austin

ELECTION: School trustee City candidate Marshall Austin

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

Marshall Austin

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Running for school trustee in the City of Langley

General manager for a very large warehouse and distribution organization, 48

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Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: Not elected office, but have served as a director with the Aldergrove Business Association, as well as strata council.

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Candidate provided bio:

Learning. Innovation. Inclusiveness. Diversity. Safety. Growth. Financial Stewardship. Our legacy begins today.

As a resident of Langley for over 15 years, a father of two Langley students and an active member of the community, I am passionate about inspiring youth to build a strong foundation and future. As the general manager of one of the largest employers in Langley, a recipient of the Large Business of the Year Award from the Langley Chamber of Commerce, former director – (Community Outreach) with the Aldergrove Business Association and a longtime coach and mentor to hundreds of kids in youth sports, I offer diverse people and business skills and expertise to the Langley School Board.

These skills will allow for collaborative discussions and decisions to maximize student success while setting a path for the future that will meet the demands of our growing community.

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Facebook: MarshallAustinForLangleySchoolTrustee

Other internet/social media platforms where voters can learn about you: Marshallaustintrustee@shaw.ca

Who is your favourite superhero, and why?

Superman – The greatest of all the superheroes, represents humanity, humility and a strong moral compass which steers him to always wanting to do the right thing.

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There are 12 candidates running for seven positions on Langley School Board. The following are questions asked of each trustee hopeful. They were directed to provide a minimum of a Yes, No, or Don’t Know answer, and given an option to expand on one answer in print (to a maximum of 100 words per question). They could expand on all questions online, if they wished to do so. The following are their replies.

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Questions and Answers:

1. What neighbourhood of Langley do you live in?

Answer: Langley City.

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2. How many years have you lived in Langley?

Answer: 15 years

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3. How many Langley School Board meetings have you attended in the past year?

Answer: 1 – I am aware of the proceedings through my network and contacts and have read and am abreast of all the minutes from the board meetings over at least the last 3 years.

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4: Do you support the use of the SOGI resources in Langley schools?

Answer: Yes. As a result of all the diverse friends, colleagues, and children I interact with on a daily basis I am committed to providing an inclusive and accepting environment that allows all children to flourish and reach their full potential. Bullying and harassment has no place in our schools nor society. Therefore, equipping our educators with tools and resources to promote healthy and safe environments for learning are essential. SOGI is a tool and a resource for educators, not curriculum, and as such I support equipping our teachers with tools that allows them to be effective educators. Every child matters.

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5. Should school districts once again have authority over municipal school taxation?

Answer: Don’t Know. This question is to complex in nature and requires far more discussion and education to define the benefits or losses that may occur if we were to revert. Full study should be done to determine those benefits as well as the actual practicality of even considering this path.

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6. Are school administrators overpaid?

Answer: No. Administrators should be paid fairly amongst their peers in the region as it is essential that the Langley School District pays competitively and is a desirable place for top quality people to want to work.

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7. Should the province have the power to dismiss school boards?

Answer: No. School boards are elected and as such the public should retain the authority to have who they want to have representing them.

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8. Should Langley offer incentives to attract more teachers?

Answer: Yes. Langley must be competitive in the market and ensure that our districts needs are met first and foremost. There is a shortage of qualified teachers in the province and we must find ways to attract talent to our district.

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9. Do schools rely too much of parent fundraising efforts?

Answer: No. Any funds that can be raised to enhance a child’s ability to succeed and makes the most of their education for a lifetime of success should be considered as a viable option.

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10. Should the district do more to lobby for new schools in the faster growing areas?

Answer: Yes. Absolutely, we have an explosion of growth in our region that will continue and we must look towards the future. investments and commitments must be made now to ensure we can succeed in the future.

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11. Do you think the province is underfunding public education?

Answer: Yes. There must be a healthy balance of funding but just as importantly prudent expense controls and opportunities to maximize the funds that are available. We need to continue to asses the funding formula and a strong voice with government to ensure Langley’s specific needs are met.

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12. Should the school district solicit corporate money by way of sponsorship to fund education?

Answer: Yes. Any funds that can be raised to enhance a child’s ability to succeed and makes the most of their education for a lifetime of success should be considered as a viable option.

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13. Should the school district cut down on using technology, like iPads and computers – to save money?

Answer: No. There should be even more opportunities then current, it is essential that technology is embraced and we allow our students to have opportunities to use and learn all types of technology so they can be successful in life after school.

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14. Should the district have a strategy to reduce portables?

Answer: Yes. It is incumbent on us to find ways to make learning the most positive experience possible, as such the atmosphere where children can learn is vital. We must make every effort within our financial abilities to manage our growth and leverage the infrastructure.

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15. Should we re-instate the previous busing boundaries for students?

Answer: No. Continual assessment and adjustments are necessary as the demographics in regions change, expense and priorities also change. Therefore we also need to be adaptable and willing to change to find a good balance for the greater good and to allow maximum student success.

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16. Should students requiring extra attention – such as ESL or those with behavioural or learning disabilities – be taught separately from other students?

Answer: No. I support the vision for the district, that every child matters and that were an inclusive and accepting culture. Having direct interactions between a large diverse group with varying backgrounds, cultures and disabilities helps to foster acceptance and understanding for all students. There will be times where an individuals needs or behavior require attention and possible intervention. This may require separation short term and needs to be handled accordingly and professionally for that students long term success also so that it is not disruptive to other students ability to be successful in school.

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17. Do you support increasing the amount of international students to help fund education?

Answer: Yes. A diverse school enhances a child’s experience and exposure. Any funds that can be raised to assist in a child’s ability to succeed and makes the most of their education for a lifetime of success should be considered as a viable option.

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18. Should a trustee live in the community they want to serve in?

Answer: Yes. Each community is unique in there own way, as a result to ensure you are representing your own community you should live and be active within it so you can make informed decisions for what is best, specifically for the Langley School District.

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19. Should there be a limit to the number of consecutive terms a trustee can serve?

Answer: No. As trustees are elected, the people of the community have the right to elect or choose who they want to represent them. Limiting terms goes against that right and as such there should not be limits.

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20. Should the district redevelop vacant school sites to bring in revenue?

Answer: Yes. Exploration of all options should be considered, being mindful of the future needs and how best to balance against the present

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