A retired educator with 36 years of experience working in rural schools hopes to be elected as the Zone 7 trustee representing students in the Chilcotin.
Anne Kohut spent 21 years of her career in School District 27 as a teacher and a principal working at Anaham, Stone, Big Lake, Dog Creek and Anahim Lake.
“I retired for 12 years and then I went back to Anahim Lake and I quite enjoyed that,” she told the Tribune. “I’ve worked with First Nations students as well as non-First Nations students. I liked the communities I lived and worked in and would like to represent them in a fair and equal basis.”
If elected, Kohut would like to be able to bring the concerns of the communities she represents to the board.
“Sometimes they need more help because they are further away in the district,” she said. “Even when people fundraise a lot of their funds go to transportation and it’s not easy in a small school to raise a lot of money.”
While she will be representing the school district schools as opposed to the independent schools in some of the First Nations communities, Kohut said once the students in the independent schools are ready to go into Williams Lake for high school she would want to advocate for them.
Kohut said she also decided to run because she is concerned about difficulties in the school district, especially around communication.
If elected perhaps she could help address the situation, she added.
“I still know people at the board office and that’s good to have those contacts as well. I’ve heard the culture of the school board office is not pleasant and welcoming like it used to be when I would go in there. It was always fun and pleasant greetings and then you’d get your business done. It should be a welcoming environment.”
When she was working, Brian Butcher was the superintendent and Kohut said he was one of the best she worked with.
“He really did a good job and was great at what he did,” she added.
Originally from New Westminster, Kohut had a house in Williams Lake until 2007 when she sold it and with the help of family and friends built the 600 square foot cabin she lives in off the grid at Charlotte Lake, south of Nimpo Lake.
She has two grown sons — one in Vancouver and one in Sechelt — and two grandsons.