Three-term Chilliwack school board trustee Heather Maahs announced on Sept. 8 she will seek re-election in the upcoming vote on Oct. 20. (Submitted/file)

Maahs to seek a fourth term on Chilliwack school board

Third incumbent to announce a run for re-election on Oct. 20; three others won’t run

A third incumbent Chilliwack school trustee announced she will seek re-election.

When she announced on Saturday, three-term board member Heather Maahs joined incumbents Barry Neufeld and Dan Coulter in those from the current board planning to run again on Oct. 20.

Silvia Dyck is the fourth announcing on Sunday that she, too, will run. Board members Paul McManus, Walt Krahn and Bob Patterson have all announced they will not seek re-election.

• READ MORE: Click here for all your Chilliwack Municipal Election coverage in one place

Maahs said one of her goals for this coming term is to see student reading and math scores increase, particularly the grade sevens.

“It is alarming to see such low scores of students at this age because it is very difficult, although not impossible, for them to catch up,” she said in a press release issued Sept. 8. “This needs to be a call to arms for the new board.”

(See below for her full statement on running for re-election.)

Maahs said a related concern she has is the downsizing of distance education and closure of the popular alternative-education school CHANCE-Shxwetetilthet by the current board.

“These actions limit the choices for parents of our most vulnerable students. Boards need to rally around these students by making sure there are more options and choices for them, not less. One size does not fit all.”

• READ MORE: Last days of CHANCE program in Chilliwack

Maahs did not directly broach the current controversy over the SOGI 123 anti-bullying resource, but she did say she will continue to advocate for rigorous and evidence-based analysis of all learning resources “in order to ensure all student’s needs are being met and parental rights are not infringed upon.”

“Our young people have only the here and now for their scholastic learning,” she said. “All our efforts, while working within the confines of provincially determined budgets must properly equip and encourage our students.”

While not as outspoken as Barry Neufeld in his opposition to SOGI 123, Maahs has supported Neufeld and she has expressed concerns with SOGI 123.

She also has a connection to Darrell Furgason who is running for school board, and who has put forth strong anti-SOGI 123 comments on social media. Furgason included Maahs in a Facebook post listing the five candidates to vote for who are “all NOT in favour of SOGI123.”

• READ MORE: Biblical creationist joins Chilliwack school board race

• READ MORE: Teachers’ union says SOGI 123 debate by Chilliwack trustee candidates is irrelevant

Asked on Twitter if she was running for re-election and if she was indeed part of Furgason’s informal slate, Maahs said she is an independent candidate and is not on any slate.

On a different subject, Maahs listed as her proudest accomplishment over the last term being the driving force for video-recording board meetings.

“People are keenly interested in the decisions this board has made over the past year as illustrated by the numbers who are watching,” she said.

Heather Maahs’ full statement on running for re-election for the Chilliwack school board

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