A pastor with a long history of working with local street people is running for the Langley School District in October’s municipal election.
Leith White said he’s going after one of the two City seats on the local board of trustees.
“There’s a Greek proverb that resonates with me as I announce my intention; it lays at the heart of my decision. ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.’ This resonates with me not simply because I’m close to 60 years of age, but as it speaks of a positive future through the contribution of others who do so not for themselves but for the benefit of those who come after them… our future generations,” White said.
A resident of the area since 1996, Whited said his four daughters have gone through Langley schools.
“Now with eight grand-kids,half of them will be or are enrolled in Langley SD35,” he said. “Our kids spent a third of their pre-adult life in an educational environment. I’m not alone as a parent in expressing my desire for my kids - that their school experience would be positive and shaping; preparing them with a superior level of knowledge and skills needed to help face their futures.
White used to be an executive before changing focus.
“I come equipped with 15 years of solid ‘out of the box’ experience leading in senior executive positions with retailers such as IKEA and Staples before transitioning careers towards the service of others in our Langley community for the last 25 years,” he explained.
As a pastor and community member, he’s worked with various levels of government, schools, the RCMP, community organizations, churches, agencies and others. White said he’d like to bring that experience to the table of the school board.
“There is no end to the challenges the Langley School District faces – each of them affecting in some way the learning experience and achievement of our students. So the decisions we make matters,” he said.
The next four years will be significant with the school board having to implement a new four year strategic plan. Priorities must include the recruitment of staffing excellence, growing Langley needs with the development of new school sites, safer existing sites, and encouraging and creating positive learning environments and high student achievement.
“We need a budget plan which encompasses these priorities while responsible and fiscally within our means,” White said.
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