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CANDIDATE: Kenneth Harshenin (SD51)
To see a list of all the available candidate profiles click here.
I am very passionate about education, and I bring a wide variety of experiences to the school board table. I have been a Board of Education Trustee for School District No. 51 for the past nine years. Prior to this, I was a school teacher for 30 years. Toward the end of my teaching career, I spent many years at the negotiating table as a bargaining team member and as Vice President and President of the Teacher’s Association. I am running for office again because I believe that public education in British Columbia is changing quickly and is at a crossroads. It is vitally important that trustees bring experience, depth of knowledge and continuity to the table during these challenging times.
Despite the many challenges that teachers, administrators, students and parents have had to face recently, our district has done a good job of meeting those challenges and dealing with them to the best of our ability. But there is much more work to be done. Relationships with teachers have to be restored, confidence has to be rebuilt, and the board will have to work hard to make sure that we deal with the next set of challenges positively and competently.
As a board member, it’s imperative that we continue to advocate for additional per student funding. Trustees need to create the conditions for success by holding our educational system accountable. We need to make sure that all children, regardless of background or circumstances, have the opportunity to grow and to develop to their full potential. We have to enable students to become successful learners now and in the future. In order to have strong outcomes, the board needs to be supportive of our dedicated teachers and administrators, and needs to ensure adequate resources and support staff.
If I had to describe myself in three words? Honest, responsible, reliable.
A successful trustee must work hard, be engaged and dedicate many hours to our district. Currently, I am a British Columbia Public School Employers Association alternate representative. I sit on the Operations Committee, Finance Committee, Community Literacy Committee and the Okanagan Labour Relations Council. I also participate at the Hutton Elementary School PAC meetings as a liaison, and I am involved with the Grand Forks Secondary School Scholarship Committee.
We all need to work hard and for the best interests of all of our students, as they will one day shape the world in which we live.
I would be honoured to once again represent the City of Grand Forks at the Board of Education table.