Langley’s Candice “Candy” Ashdown is running for Langley school board again, seeking a second term after a hiatus.
Ashdown was a board trustee from 2011 to 2014, then was defeated in the 2014 elections. She ran again in 2018 as well.
She will be running for one of the two Langley City seats on the board.
The school board serves all of Langley, but the seven-member board is divided between City and Township trustees, with five elected in the Township. The board chair is chosen by the trustees themselves, after the civic election.
Raised in Langley, Ashdown was a second-generation school board trustee, following in the footsteps of her mother, Diane Pona, who served for 12 years on the Langley board of education.
“Well it’s kind of in my blood for starters,” Ashdown said of her reasons for running again. “But more practically, I come with a lot of experience. I know how to do the job. There is no learning curve for me, and I will be able to hit the ground running.”
She said that the strain on the school system from the pandemic has been “tremendous,” and that a lot of work needs to be done at the school board table.
“I will always be very proud of what our board accomplished during the term,” she said of her time in office. “We paid off a $13 million deficit a year early, hired a new district leadership team, developed a much-needed Long-Term Facilities Plan, and formed liaison committees with both the Township and City.”
She said working with the municipal governments is also important now, as rapid growth has made the need for space in schools even more important.
When she was on the board, Ashdown was chair of the Education Committee, and sat on the Policy Committee as well. She was a school board representative for several Langley City committees, including Recreation, Culture and Public Art, and the Parks and Environment Advisory Committee.
Ashdown has a long history with the district, not only having graduated from it, but via involvement with her children’s schools, including six years as president of vice-president of her local Parent Advisory Council, and was on the executive term of the District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC).
The upcoming municipal elections for school board and local councils will be held on Oct. 15.
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