Michelle Nyhof Finley
Candidate in the 2014 St. James - Assiniboia - King Edward - Deer Lodge School Ward race.
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Why did you decide to run in the 2014 School Board Election?
I decided to run for School Trustee in the St. James - Assiniboia School Division (King Edward-Deer Lodge Ward) because I was concerned that our community was not being included in the decision making process used to administer our public school system.
I believe that to deliver the education that our kids deserve and need, the public needs to be invited to the table and participate actively. Another reason I decided to run for School Trustee is that I want to protect program funding for art, music, and trades classes as well as increasing the number of French immersion spaces available in the Division.
I also felt a strong desire to help repay my community for the excellent education I received in the Division.
What experience will you bring to compliment your role as School Trustee?
As a professional communication officer, I will bring a strong interpersonal and problem solving skills to the School Board. My public relations education and skills will be useful as I as work to increase the amount of information shared with the community as well as building towards a simpler public participation model. When I take a new role on, I am extremely dedicated and hardworking.
What are some issues that you would like to stand for in your role as School Trustee, and why are these issues important to you?
I would like to reduce the barriers community members face when wanting to participate in the public education system in the St. James - Assiniboia School Division. I will work to increase the level of detail found in School Board meeting minutes as well as reducing the restrictions on public presentations and questions at meetings. These changes are important to me as I want decisions regarding the education of our children to be made using solid research and considering the needs of all stakeholders.
Without detailed minutes and and questions from the public, decisions are being made with too little input from parents and students, as well as the community at large. To help increase public participation, I am committed to holding regular informal round table meetings with community members and using modern communication tools such as social media.
I would also like to ensure all students have access to programming that they can excel in. Whether it be arts, athletics, languages, math, music, or science, I want to be able to attract the best teachers and have the best teaching tools available for our kids.
What is one thing in particular that you appreciate about the school ward or school division you wish to represent?
I appreciate that St. James - Assiniboia has deep roots with multiple generations of families having made their homes in the area. I think our collective community history has allowed us to develop a strong sense of pride and involvement in our centres and schools, as well as a genuine desire to see our children succeed. I am also very proud of how welcoming the neighbourhood is to anyone moving into the area for the first time or in providing support to families in need.
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