It was the worst-kept secret in the upcoming municipal election, but trustee Dan Coulter formally announced on Thursday that he is running for re-election.
Coulter made his intentions known on social media many months ago, but only this week made it official with a press release, one day before the deadline to submit nomination papers.
Coulter first ran for school board in 2011 finishing just out of the running in eighth out of 24 candidates. He was then first elected in a byelection with very low voter turnout in 2013 to replace Louise Piper who resigned due to medical reasons. He was then re-elected in 2014 placing third in voting.
In his statement, he said he has become more convinced that the board needs moderate and experienced trustees going forward.
As for issues, he pointed to challenges over grade reconfiguration, middle school FSA scores and space in schools. Without bringing it up directly, he only alluded to the controversy over SOGI 123, an issue brought up by a number of candidates who have announced so far.
“We cannot get bogged down in the divisive ‘debate’ that has plagued the district for almost a year but there are single issue candidates that intend to do just that,” Coulter said. “There is a lot more to being a trustee. It is time that we start talking about the real issues that affect this district.”
Coulter has served as vice-chair of the board and chair of the educational policy advisory committee, as well as serving on numerous other committees.
He said he will advocate to the provincial government for increased learning spaces in Chilliwack schools, and he wants to focus on good relationships with board partners: DPAC, CUPE, CTA and community groups.
And he said the board should focus on creating opportunities for students to find their passion.
“Education is so much more than just reading and arithmetic. We need to focus on students’ social and emotional health as well. They need the opportunity to find their passion. A student that finds their passion finds success.”
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