Profile

Personal:

  • resident of central Halifax for 30+ years and involved in the public school system for most of that time 
  • mother of four kids who have gone to and still attend school in the Citadel family of schools.  
  • chief spokesperson for Saint Mary's Elementary during 2008-09 round of school reviews for possible closure
  • participant in Department of Education's review and revision of the Education Act's school review policy
  • member and chair of Saint Mary's Elementary School Advisory Council (SAC) for more than 10 years and PTA prior to that
  • member of last sitting SAC at Queen Elizabeth High school
  • served two times as member of Vice-principal Pool Selection Committee for HRSB
  • member of the original Joseph Howe Elementary Inner City Education Advisory Committee in the early 1990's
  • home geographically located on boundary between Peninsula South and North districts at the Commons
  • first-hand experience of supports available to adapt learning to individual needs and personal learning style (adaptations and IPPs)
  • experience with relationship between Community Services, HRSB, and children in care

Work:

  • employed for the last 30+ years in a variety of positions, increasing in responsibility, from clerical to managerial including: ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists) as Administrative Assistant; CBC TV as Unit Manager for TV News and Current Affairs; and the Lion's Roar Foundation, a magazine publisher, overseeing its Human Resources and Operations departments.

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Why do I want to do it....

For as long as I've had kids in the school system their school experience has been something to which I've devoted a good deal of time and energy: supporting their individual learning, getting acquainted with those in their learning community, and understanding the system within which it all operated. And given that schooling is an item on which $450m. of our provincial and municipal tax dollars get spent, I have a keen interest in seeing that it gets spent well.

Having now completed one full term (2012-16) and offered and been acclaimed for a second (2016-20) I find myself drawn toward two particular areas of interest: equity and governance. The former is about every child getting what they need and latter, managing our time and energy in a way that sees as much of our work as possible directly benefitting students.

Why I got involved back in 2012....

Continue the work started by the then sitting elected board. The board of the day had gone a good deal to repair a reputation badly damaged by the previous elected board, disbanded by the Minister of Education in 2006. That decision and the events that led to it struck a blow to the public's opinion of the institution, their faith in it, and its credibility. The board that served from 2008 to 2012 restored it to respectability, working effectively and respectfully with one another and board staff, and made kids and constituents the focal point of their efforts.

Support and, as recommended by Howard Windsor, probe and challenge staff recommendations. In a 2008 report on governance Mr. Windsor identified "probing and challenging" as central to the role served by elected board members. It is a key function. Through its sole employee, the superintendent, the elected board sets goals for HRSB, develops policy, and provides budget oversight on behalf of the Minister of Education. The board is also meant to be the eyes and ears for making sure, as Windsor pointed out, that all actions of the administration relate directly to goals set by the elected body.

Offer the experience that came from 20 years of working in a variety of volunteer capacities within the system to benefit district families at the board level.
The 2012/13 school year marked the twentieth consecutive year that one and then another of my kids had been at Saint Mary's Elementary. It was an unusual claim to be able to make, an unusually long period of time to be spent in one school without interruption, but I was happy and grateful to be able to make it. I'd enjoyed my time working on behalf of the system at Saint Mary's and decided to offer my interest, enthusiasm, and thoughts for more of the same at the board level. It's been an honour and a privilege to do so.

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