Meet SD27 zone 6 candidate Alexis Forseille

CANDIDATE Q&A:

Alexis Forseille is a former Williams Lake Stampede Queen. She grew up in a household of teachers and currently works at Community Futures and for the Williams Lake Youth Soccer Association.

What do you think are the top issues facing School District 27?

Reading through the Turner Report, it appears that one of the top issues facing School District 27 is the need to build positive relationships and trust between all those invested in the education of students including the Board of Trustees, teachers, principals and stakeholders. As one of the members on the Board of Trustees, it will be important to ensure that a collaborative cohesive plan, designed by all stakeholders is put in place to improve student outcomes. A way to build trust among all stakeholders is to openly share data that reflects learning in the school district and to use this information to set goals for improvement in the areas that require attention. Once these areas are identified the district vision can be aligned with the district goals and the budget can be set to support the needs of all students and staff.

Why do you want to be a school board trustee?

I want to be a school board trustee as it combines two of my passions; education and moving our community forward. Being born and raised in Williams Lake, I am attached to our community. I recently completed four years in the Bachelor of Science program at TRU Kamloops and am beyond excited to return to Williams Lake. Throughout the years, I was completing university, I had the opportunity to represent Williams Lake as the 2012 Williams Lake Stampede Queen and as a representative in the fall 2014 Miss Rodeo Canada Competition. I believe in spreading positivity about everything that Williams Lake has to offer and want to see students from our community succeed. I look forward to ensuring the education we provide in our community is the best education we can offer to all students. As a school board trustee, I will be a youthful and positive voice that supports building a budget, strategic plan and setting policies that work for students and educators in our community.

How would you go about improving relationships within the district in light of last year’s vote of non-confidence by the CCTA?

As a team, the board of trustees has an incredible opportunity to build new relationships within our district. With only two of seven trustees returning to the board, the majority of trustees will bring a new mindset and fresh ideas to problem solve for our school district. Being a new trustee means we have an opportunity to build new positive and respectful relationships with teachers, administrators, and support staff. I believe the new Board of Trustees will need to listen, collaborate, problem solve and be transparent. We will need to be open to changes and conversations that will elevate School District #27 from the past and into the future that provides all invested parties, including students, with the best opportunities. Teachers, principals, support staff and parents are at the front lines of educating and raising the students that the School District is responsible for providing the best educational opportunities to. If elected, I hope to be given an invitation to attend events such as PAC meetings, school barbecues, Christmas concerts or even Pro D days. This would provide me with an opportunity to speak with school staff and parents to better understand the needs of students.

What are your thoughts on how the province funds districts?

If elected as a new board of trustee, I will have the privilege to attend the BCSTA- Trustee Academy on November 29th and December 1st. This session will provide all new trustees with a more advanced understanding of how the province funds districts and how we are able to use the funding within our district.

Would you support the closure of schools when their population drops below a sustainable level?

I believe that if faced with the decision to close a school due to a population decline, many factors must be taken into account and openly discussed with the families whose lives would be affected. With the district being geographically vast, a school closure should be entirely situational based on the location of the school, the community it serves and the students it would effect. When a population drops below a sustainable level, I would suggest a feasibility study be conducted on the school, with specific emphasis being placed on the pros vs cons surrounding the education of the students. Every decision should be made to provide the best education to students within our School District and therefore, each school closure must be viewed as a unique situation.

What would you like to see in local schools that isn’t there now?

I would like to see our local schools be given more support for the administrators, teachers and support staff. As a trustee, it would not be my position to say what should be in our local schools as I am not the one delivering education to students. It would be my responsibility to listen to the educators to understand from their point of view what programs are working, what programs need adjustments or improvements, and what programs they would like to see within their schools. This communication is important in building relationships. It’s also important for understanding how we can improve education in our School District and how we can build a budget to support the changes educators are asking for. Overall, as a trustee candidate, I would like to see our educators being supported with funding for programs that they believe would promote positive and successful learning cultures within their schools.

What could be done to attract and retain teachers in this district?

Attracting new teachers and retaining teachers are important factors in creating a sense of belonging within our schools and community. To attract and retain teachers, the board of trustees will need to look at our current recruiting and retention plan. As a team, we will need to identify ways to showcase our beautiful community and surrounding regions. In the process of creating a new recruiting plan, the board of trustees needs to listen to the teachers currently in our district. We need to learn what other districts are offering compared to School District #27, and why teachers choose to work in our district.

I would like to see SD27 partner with local businesses to provide more community connections while creating wellness programs that build a sense of belonging between colleagues that share similar passions – at school and in their personal lives. I believe the wellness of our educators is an integral component in the overall wellness of our schools. A wellness program could be an attractive component to our district’s recruiting and retention plan. Further, it supports our educators to enjoy their passions outside of school with their colleagues and their families.

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