Michael Prill announced on Sept. 12 he would run for the Chilliwack school board. (Submitted)

Chilliwack father of four and small business owner, 11th to join trustee race

Michael Prill announced his candidacy for the Chilliwack school board on Sept. 12

A small business owner and parent with four children in the system, Michael Prill announced Wednesday his candidacy for the Chilliwack school board.

Prill says his priorities are advocating for increases to deal with overcrowding, finding transportation solutions, and improving communication between parents and trustees.

“I would like to express my gratitude for the work done by the previous Board of Trustees,” Prill said in a statement. “Now I believe strongly that balanced, relevant and focused voices are needed in Chilliwack to restore the board to a healthy, functional and effective capacity, with concentration on moving forward with the current and future needs of the students of Chilliwack.”

(See below for his full statement)

Prill said he believes there is a “discord” between the school board and the citizens.

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“I believe there is room at the table for all parties in direct link with appointed trustees,” he said. “Each group has significant value to add in School District 33, and I will work at implementing and improving processes to ensure improved and welcomed communication and collaboration with student representatives, our District PAC and unions.”

Prill said as a father of four, the oldest of whom is in the final year of high school with the youngest entering middle school, he has first-hand experience with busing issues in the district.

“I am committed to seeking acceptable solutions that involve consistent processes for courtesy riders, safe student-to-bus ratios, direct bus routes and collaboration with community partners to reduce the costs to families for student public transit ridership.”

The owner of a lawn care company, Prill has been a resident of Chilliwack for 12 years. He holds a degree in criminal justice and he said he spent 14 years working in the criminal justice system.

He said for the past three years, he’s been working with children and youth with developmental disabilities through the Chilliwack Society for Community Living and the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children & Family Services Society.

He’s been a coach and an umpire in youth sports, and believes physical education is important during formative years.

Prill is the 11th person to announce a run for school board. Four incumbents, Barry Neufeld, Dan Coulter, Heather Maahs and Silvia Dyck, announced all announced their bids for re-election, while incumbents Paul McManus, Walt Krahn and Bob Patterson all announced they will not run again.

For more stories on the Oct. 20 municipal election visit www.theprogress.com/municipal-election.

Michael Prill’s full statement on running for Chilliwack school board trustee

Born and raised in BC, Michael Prill has been a resident of Chilliwack for the past 12 years. Michael is a local business owner who holds a degree in Criminal Justice, and has spent the past 14 years of his career in employment as a federal Public Servant in the Criminal Justice system. In Michael’s current capacity, his focus is on analysing and applying law and policy.

This coupled with his previous experience as a union local President has allowed Michael to understand both sides of the workplace relationship.

For the past 3 years he has been working directly with children and youth with developmental disabilities through the Chilliwack Society for Community Living and the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children & Family Services Society. He has been actively involved in youth sports in the city as a coach and umpire, and is a strong believer in physical education and daily physical activity in the growing years. A husband and father of four with two children in SD 33, one entering middle school and one in the final year of high school, Michael has experienced first-hand the numerous evolutions and transitions of the public school system in Chilliwack and the challenges faced by our families.

“I would like to express my gratitude for the work done by the previous Board of Trustees. Now I believe strongly that balanced, relevant and focused voices are needed in Chilliwack to restore the board to a healthy, functional and effective capacity, with concentration on moving forward with the current and future needs of the students of Chilliwack.

This will be accomplished through:

-Improving processes for inviting parent, student and educator voices to the table.

There is currently a discord between the Board of Trustees and the citizens it serves, at all levels. I believe there is room at the table for all parties in direct link with appointed Trustees. Each group has significant value to add in SD33, and I will work at implementing and improving processes to ensure improved and welcomed communication and collaboration with student representatives, our District PAC and unions.

-Creating acceptable solutions for student transportation in a growing city.

As Chilliwack’s population continues to grow, the transportation needs of our students will continue to become more complex. As a parent whose children have been impacted by these increasing demands, I am committed to seeking acceptable solutions that involve consistent processes for courtesy riders, safe student-to-bus ratios, direct bus routes and collaboration with community partners to reduce the costs to families for student public transit ridership.

-Advocating for resources for overcrowding and infrastructure.

The previous Board initiated the process to seek possible funding for future infrastructure enhancements in its 5-year capital plan. I believe the Board’s united voice to the Ministry of Education will be critical in mobilizing dialogue around these needs and securing the funds required to provide relief to our schools. Recent reconfiguration has highlighted these pressures, and indeed created new ones. Solutions to these rising needs must be a key focus of the Board.

I want to ensure the focus of this new board is centred on the voices of those we serve, addressing our highest priorities and creating a positive space for future growth.”

For full platform details and to volunteer or donate, please go to www.michaelprill.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votemichaelprill.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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