RUNNING AS AN INDEPENDENT
Human kinetics professor, age 59
Willoughby resident who’s lived in Langley 46 years
Neil is a resident of the Township of Langley for over 45 years. Neil is a dad, papa, and a human kinetics professor.
Neil has been involved in the sport community for over four decades.
Neil wants to invest in creating a stronger education community, not only for his grandchildren, but also for every student.
His educational background includes a master of science degree in performance analysis. Although related to sport analysis, his degree has equipped him with the necessary skills to analyze structures, data, and performance measures.
This knowledge will enable Neil to critically think and execute plans improving the delivery of the education program in Langley.
His goal would be to see Langley become the best school district in the province.
Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No.
(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)
1. Do you agree with how SOGI material and other sex education is currently taught in the classroom, including LGBTQ2S content and sexual consent?
No. The difficulty with this topic is that there is little to no consistency in the delivery of sex education.
Although the ministry of education provides big ideas, curricular competencies, and content, the actual topics and means to educate are placed on the teacher.
There is a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication about SOGI resources and sex education.
There are a number of different opinions about who, what, why, when, and how this content should be taught.
It would be beneficial to have consistent content that is delivered in a consistent manner at various ages.
If we believe that it is the school’s responsibility to teach sex education in school, we must standardize it so that all students receive the same information and teaching – regardless of which class they are in.
2. Are class sizes too big?
No. The classes in SD35 meet the collective bargain agreement and if it exceeds funding from the CEF (external funding) enables the district to meet the demands.
3. Should all students with diverse abilities or special needs be taught in regular classrooms?
Don’t know. This is a difficult question to answer. I believe that all students with diverse abilities or special needs should have the opportunity to be taught in the regular classrooms. If a student chooses this option we should provide the resources needed for the student and the teacher to provide the best learning environment for the student. Funding is always the challenge and we need to be creative to be able to utilize available funds and generate new funds to meet the increasing financial need.
4. Is the provincial government providing enough funding for public schools?
No. This is a priority area for me. There is a need for the provincial government to step up and allocate new money to meet the demands of the rapidly growing community. My understanding is that a good portion of the growth in Langley is due to the demands put on communities to provide “affordable” housing. There should be a better working system to provide increased dollars to meet the demands – not just around hiring new teachers, administration, support staff, EA’s and SEA’s, but also provide for resources for the schools. The stress put on the budget by the increase must be dealt with and the provincial government has a responsibility to assist the local communities that are experiencing this rapid growth.
5. Should the district set a deadline to switch to an all-electric bus and vehicle fleet?
No. Simply put, it has been problematic to transition any of the new electric busses and get them operational. It is too early in the process to set any deadline for this.
6. Should there be more emphasis on STEM courses in schools?
No. Although a valuable asset in our Langley schools, I believe that an emphasis on better promotion, support and teaching in the trades would be a strong focus for preparing our students for the changing world. The demand in the trades is high and there is a substantial amount of demand for workers in the trades. Thoughtfully developing and expanding our existing programs in the trades would be a suitable emphasis at this time.
7. Should the district consider offering distance education for some students on a regular basis, based on what was learned during the pandemic?
Yes. I would support looking at initiatives for a blended educational model and the pandemic has shown us that we could pivot and provide education through an at home/distance learning model. I would love to see some of the data as we evaluate the effectiveness of education during the pandemic. Providing additional training and resources for teachers to be better online educators could open up opportunities for some new ideas, initiatives and plans. The technology is there. The question is can we leverage it to enhance the educational experience and results in the district.
8. Should the district have a strategy to reduce the use of portables?
Yes. Developing a strategy to reduce portables is a good idea. A focus on better planning of new builds would be more prudent. There is a template for building schools (particularly elementary schools) that should be looked at to see if there are some better models that would provide a well resourced school with no portables. Portables should only serve as a temporary solution to deal with anomalies rather than the norm. A good long, long- term plan is what we need in Langley over the next twenty years. We MUST work with the Provinical government to better align ourselves with the rapidly growing community. We MUST come up with an active plan with multiple levels of government to solve our school facility problem.
9. Should there be more emphasis on Indigenous-based history and culture courses?
No. With the introduction of the required Indigenous-based courses in the school curriculum, I think it is wise to see what positive results are evident prior to addressing further emphasis.
10. Should new elementary schools be built larger, to accommodate more students and deal with continuing rapid enrolment growth?
Yes. Answered in Question 8.
How the questions were presented to each candidate
Langley Advance Times readers have repeatedly told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.
Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.
Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.
To help voters in Langley make their choices on election day, the Langley Advance Times is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.
You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.
Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.
Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.
Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in the Langley Advance Times print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at www.langleyadvancetimes.com.
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