Name: Bill Bard
Occupation/background: Business and human services. Advocate for public education and LGBTQQ rights.
Why are you running for school trustee?
Many of the changes required as a result of lack of insight or action previously, have been addressed these past three years. I am running again to ensure a passionate voice for safer schools and good fiscal budgeting decisions. A strong voice must be heard, and a strong board can defend further eroding of public education.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Bullying and discrimination are still big issues in our district.
Continuing to develop toward 21st-century learning initiatives like RTI and self-regulation. Instructional coordinators should have come from within our own schools, and any new hires ought to as well.
We must have a better working relationship with our staff. The teacher is not the only person able to make a difference in a childs education. Bus Drivers, EAs, secretaries, custodians and every other employee that has interaction with your child should have a role in planning a better learning environment to better serve each students unique needs. One team.
How do you plan to work toward a balanced school district budget?
We must continue to consolidate services wherever possible with the first priority always being on student outcomes. Tough choices have had to be made, but without them, the health of public education will continue to suffer. Our budget must stop being about shortfalls and cuts. We must get to the place where services are added and enriched, not lost.
What do you think it takes to be an education leader in Nanaimo-Ladysmith? Describe your leadership or co-working style.
To be an educational leader takes change. Change takes courage. We are not an agricultural-based society anymore; why does our school calendar and teaching style look 150 years old? A leader has to be willing to take the bull by the horns and move us from where school is about teaching students in rows and isles, to where students are learning through real life events and inquiry. Kids don’t need to be taught, they need to learn, and we don’t all learn the same way therefore we cannot teach the same way to all.
My style is sometimes aggressive. Always passionate. I am honest to a fault, so I won’t tell you what you want to hear just to be popular. I don’t want to do the smart thing, I want to do the right thing.