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Candidates for School Trustee District 68

Here are your candidates for School Trustee SD 68. We invited all the candidates to participate but some did not submit their info before deadline. Please take the time to visit get to know more about them all.

Bill Bard
Did not submit by deadline

Lisa Marie Barron
I am deeply invested in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools (NLPS) as a past employee, graduate and a mother of two current NLPS students. I currently hold the position of coordinator of a Vancouver Island Health and Wellness Network and am a former employee of the school district. I am graduate of VIU with a BA in sociology and psychology, and am currently pursuing my MA in Community Development.
One of my priorities, if elected, is to continue the work required to build education vital to the success of Indigenous students. Providing an environment of educational success for Indigenous students benefits all students. Another priority is to continuously build and improve upon processes for equitable and inclusive education for all NLPS students. Access to equitable education is a right for all children and youth. My final priority is to ensure all decisions made are informed and collaborative. I believe in accountability, strong governance and ensuring all decisions are being made in the best interest of our students.

Tania Brzovic
Tania Brzovic is a life-long Nanaimoite who was one of the first special needs students to be fully integrated in School District 68, attending Princess Anne and Rutherford Elementary schools, Wellington Junior Secondary School and Nanaimo District Senior Secondary School. As someone who was raised in a family of teachers, she learned from an early age that a healthy public system is the cornerstone of a strong community. She has a degree in child and youth care and has many years experience in advocacy, particularly in the areas of anti-poverty work and supporting individuals with special needs and their families.
She has served on multiple non profit boards. Currently, she is part of a team that runs the Harewood Youth Ball Hockey League. Their goal is to provide a low-cost, fun recreational activity for children. They emphasize sportsmanship, fairness, teamwork, providing strong role modelling for children/youth. As well, she has helped with many community school activities, such as Kids 4 Kids, the Summer Reading program, games clubs and other activities. She has also worked with the United Way, the Southside Teen Centre, the Vancouver Island Crisis Society and other agencies.
Tania is always open to hearing from stakeholders.

Jennifer Clarke
Did not submit by deadline

Hunter Ehrismann
Did not submit by deadline

Richard Finnegan
Did not submit by deadline

Corinne Furtmann
I am a 45 year old single Mom to two grown kids, both successful graduates of Nanaimo-Ladysmith public schools. My education & career are in healthcare, and some may know me from my work with Dr. Jeffrey Somerville for the past 21 years. I have also done contract work co-instructing the MOA program at Vancouver Island University. I have had a growing interest in becoming a school trustee, and I am finally at a place in my life where I have the time to devote myself to this new challenge. My platform is simple – to work collaboratively with students/parents/families, staff, teachers, First Nations partners, city officials & the community to provide equitable, safe, supportive & inclusive educational opportunities for ALL students of our district, regardless of socioeconomic realities, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation/identification, mental or physical capabilities. I welcome the opportunity to continue moving our schools and our district in a positive direction.

Patti Grand
Did not submit by deadline

Stephanie Higginson
My connection to public education is deeply personal. I am the mother of two school aged boys who attend our public schools. I am a former award winning secondary school teacher with a Master’s in Educational Studies.
I believe that we must work with the all levels of government to guide SD68, from Ladysmith to Lanztville, through this period of growth to build a strong and vibrant public education system that reflects the communities we serve. We must work to improve graduation rates for our indigenous and special needs students. Improving learning conditions for these students will improve achievement for all students.
I am the current Vice Chair of the Board and Vice President of the BC School Trustees Association. As Vice President of the BCSTA, I bring a wealth of experience and relationships that no other candidate has. I believe my record of thoughtful decisions and positive relationships with all stakeholders proves my strong leadership and collaboration skills.

Greg Keller
Registered Professional Planner with 14 years experience working in a local government setting working with community groups, senior governments, indigenous communities, and other stakeholders on Official Community Plans, development applications, and other community projects. I am a parent of two elementary school children, a strong defender of the public education system, and an advocate for students, workers, and families.
My priorities are to support the needs of students and teachers. Increase student access to mental health professionals and support services. Work collaboratively to increase graduation rates, especially for vulnerable and indigenous students. Advocate for improved facilities planning aimed at helping the board make better-informed decisions, breaking the cycle of school closures, and providing more certainty and stability for students and families. Focus on seismic upgrades, facilities renewal, and emergency preparedness.

Scott Kimler
Scott Kimler moved to Yellowpoint in 2006 and is active in the community (volunteer firefighter for more than 11 years). He is a retired scientist (MS Geophysics) and is seeking a second term as a trustee. He knows that the school board benefits by having intelligent, professional members possessing critical thinking skills, business acumen who are team players and have the time to commit to the job. Scott Kimler is engaged, committed, honest, sincere, and hard-working. He works as part of a team to make the best decisions to tackle a myriad of challenges – all with a goal to make SD68 the best school district it can be and to improve student success. Scott has one teenage daughter of high school age. Visit Scott Kimler’s trustee website, Facebook trustee page, follow @randsco on Twitter, or email Scott Kimler to learn more. website link is

Charlene McKay
Charlene is a married mother of 2 students in SD68.
Charlene has a proven track record regarding commitment, having an open mind during, and modeling good governance and teamwork. Volunteer time spent in our district included volunteering in over 275 meetings, consultations, and committees representing parents, working with staff, and community organizations. She has an open mind and always listens to input when considering making recommendations to the Board of Education.
She has spent the past 4 years representing Parent Advisory Councils from across our district based on their votes and input, and has always followed through with fair and respectful representation at School Board committees.
She looks forward to serving our communities in SD68 with the same level of commitment and passion for student success as I have for the past 4 years, with a student focus, good governance, and respectful representation.

Chantel O’Neill
I am running because education is the foundation for strong and healthy communities.
Communities are stronger when we are able to lift barriers for families and students. I bring years of advocacy work to the table when discussing future opportunities in our district.
Public engagement and inclusive practices are at the centre of the work I have done in strategic planning and as a trustee I commit to honouring that practice.
As a long time activist, facilitator and organizer I believe that the decisions that we make as representatives need to be done in a collaborative, democratic and transparent manner.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with other elected officials and community members in a way that shows we can be responsive to changing demographics, but also thoughtful and creative in reaching decisions and planning for our kids today and in the future.
On October 20th I hope to have your support to represent our kids, our communities.

Bill Robinson
Did not submit by deadline

TerryLynn Saunders
Did not submit by deadline

Jen Skogland
Did not submit by deadline

Jessica Stanley
Did not submit by deadline

Marilyn Sullivan
Did not submit by deadline

Matt Szeler
My name is Matt Szeler and I am running for School Board Trustee. I am 74 years old, married with three children and we have six grandchildren. I had a 30 year Banking career and I have a Fellowship in Canadian Banking. After I retired from Banking , my wife Leslie and I served as missionaries in Haiti, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.
I am running for Trustee because I feel with my Banking and other life experiences I can contribute to the community by working with the Board of Trustees to give students the best education possible.
Some of the ways I plan to contribute are as follows:

1) ensuring age appropriateness of the material being presented to students.
2) creating policies in the school to protect parental rights.
3) involving parental involvement directly in the development of teaching material.
4) evaluating teaching material on basis of peer reviewed scientific research.
5) encouraging trustees to focus on the areas of financial and academic performance.
6) research available school space in view of rapidly growing communities. Ie closing schools and then replacing them with portables. Why are we making these decisions? In view of increased needs.

Elaine Wilkinson
I believe in a safe and inclusive learning environment for ALL students. I would also like to be an advocate for Ladysmith. I’m passionate about setting students up for success in life, whatever that looks like for them, and I want the opportunity to support them.

I’m a mother of 2 boys aged 17 and 20 who went to school in Ladysmith and I’ve have been involved in the PAC.
I’ve been a realtor for 11 years now but I also had a 13 year career as a Child and Youth Care Worker.
I worked at Northfield Alternate School and then spent 6 years at Ladysmith Secondary School. I was also part of the Ladysmith Youth Advisory Coalition and coordinator of the Youth Centre.
My other volunteering positions include helping at my local church, managing my boys’ hockey teams and I currently co-chair the Ladysmith Tour de Rock committee.


About the author: The Boss

The Boss

Marina is Editor of TAKE 5 Magazine.

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