Candidates seek trustee, council and director positions

Myrna (Barker) Coates seeks fourth term as school trustee

  • Nov. 2, 2011 11:00 a.m.
Myrna Coates

Myrna Coates

Education has been the centre of my life. I attended both elementary and secondary school here in Keremeos, and, as many of us do, I then left for post secondary education. I studied at UBC, and from there, I took my teaching skills to several British Columbia and Yukon communities. I am happy that I have returned to the valley, and that I have had the privilege of serving as your school trustee for the past nine years.

I am committed to public education. It is the foundation of our society. In British Columbia, all students have the right to a quality education without having to resort to a private institution. It is one of the factors that makes Canada unique in our world.

Trusteeship goes far beyond the bi-weekly evening meetings. I have the privilege of time for school visits, both formal and informal, and for sitting on committees which meet during regular working hours: Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement; Policy Review; Budget; and School Plan Reviews. I also attend weekend conferences and workshops which help to keep me informed of proven educational innovations. I have always advocated for the best learning experiences that the budget would allow, and for strong support of our teachers who deliver those experiences.

I believe in the corporate board where individuals come together to discuss, to debate, and to listen to the ideas and opinions of others. However, before voting for any issue, I ask, “How will this decision affect the learning and achievement of our children?” My responsibility as trustee is to always consider the best interest of the students.

The following are some issues for which I currently have concerns: providing academic courses in which we historically have few students enrolled; opening up more apprenticeship placements; ensuring access for all families to the early-years’ programs;  creating programs to aid the retention and success in learning for boys; and implementing programs which encourage our children to think creatively and to solve problems. Declining enrolment, and therefore, a decline in funding, has made it mandatory that we look for new solutions for educational opportunities for our students.


I am asking for your endorsement for another three year term so that I may continue working for you towards finding those solutions. I am always open to discussing educational concerns. (250-499-5584), or:  Please vote Saturday, November 19.