Candidate in the 2014 River East - Transcona - 1 School Ward race.
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Why did you decide to run in the 2014 School Board Election?
Running for school trustee is something that I have wanted to do for the past 3 elections. I have always had a strong belief and dedication to public education and have wanted to be involved at the trustee level, however, I know myself well enough that if I am going to get involved in something like this I need to be able to commit myself wholeheartedly. In past elections I was not able to give the commitment I can afford now. I am at a place in my life where I can fully commit to trusteeship and bring my extensive experience to the table.
What experience will you bring to compliment your role as School Trustee?
My experiences are diverse and provide a solid foundation to transition quickly into the role of trustee. All new jobs have a learning curve, but if you have the skills and experiences the transition becomes easier so you can become action oriented quicker. I have demonstrated repeatedly that am skilled in initiating new processes and programs. I took the lead when divisions amalgamated and created a divisional advisory council to ensure parent councils had input into the transition. I was instrumental in creating the 1st Early Childhood Wellness Fair in Transcona that are commonplace now. I worked with Manitoba Justice to have the 1st "Lighthouse" program in the division. I was on the 1st committee that created the Parent Child Coalition in Transcona. I set up a resource center that started the 1st "walking school bus" for children who had a long way to walk to school. I coordinated the 1st bilingual career exploration day in Manitoba that became a prototype for Canada. I have led fundraising events, sat on educational committees at divisional and provincial levels,and participated in divisional budget meetings. I am confident my experiences are well rounded and will benefit the people of Ward 1.
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 believe that my primary role as trustee is to find out what issues the schools and residents of Ward 1 have and then to work with them and represent them at the board table. However, I do have areas/issues I would like to be involved with. Bullying: I want to be involved in research, see what our division does now and compare to what the global community is doing, and determine what else we can do. Technology in the classrooms: I would like to be involved in our divisional assessments. It is a complicated issue because we want our students and teachers to have access, but does it improve outcomes for students overall, and if so, where do we find resources to fund this? I was on the Parent Advisory Council when the smart-boards came out. They are a wonderful tool for teachers and we wanted it in our school, however, there was no school budget for it so the PAC funded it. Community Engagement is vital: I have extensive experience working with and for people and working on committees to get things done and believe this will be one of my strengths as trustee in Ward 1.
What is one thing in particular that you appreciate about the school ward or school division you wish to represent?
I am so proud to live in Transcona. It is a wonderful, close knit community that deserves the best representation we can get. I have lived here for 23 years and came specifically to raise our family and be a part of a community. We could not have chosen better! I lived and went to school in the River East area so am also very familiar with that part of our school division and have friends and family throughout. I think our division as a whole, and especially our Ward is made up of people who are very proud, hard-working individuals who believe in community life. I have seen it over and over with friends, my children's friends, in the schools, and with all of the different committees and groups I have been a part of since we moved here. I don't think you will find that kind of commitment to community everywhere. The people, the community: that is why I would like the honour of representing them.
Do you have any other comments regarding your candidacy?
I will address the trustee responsibilities by: - Ensuring I stay current with the changing education system - Involving myself and listening to parents, students, teachers, and community members and groups - Working with various groups such as the teachers associations, parent groups, and municipal offices.
There are 3 quotes on my promotional pamphlet that I would like to share:
"Sandy as a school trustee is an excellent investment in the future of our children" "Sandy has played a significant role in the education of young Manitobans" "Sandy Owczar leads with her heart, her mind and her soul. Her vision for providing children with a better world to live is a model for all"
One quote was provided recently, the other 2 were given as a result of work I have done in the past as an advocate in the community. Thank you for those and to everyone who has helped my campaign - I feel very privileged to have so much support!!
Final quote - shared by a great educator in Transcona whom I respect tremendously and was instrumental in my childrens' success: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire" W.B. Yeats
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