Willow Reichelt will run for re-election this fall’s Chilliwack school board election.
Reichelt threw her hat into the ring on Wednesday.
“I love my community, and I want it to be a thriving city where our diversity is celebrated,” she said in a news release announcing her decision. “Throughout my first four years on the board I have remained steadfast in my commitment to working to create an equitable district where every child feels included and has the supports necessary to learn.”
Reichelt was first elected in 2018 and has served as board chair and vice-chair.
The Sardis Secondary alum taught in Chilliwack School District 33 for 14 years and said she is proud of what the board was able to do in her first term.
“Our strategic plan is a forward-thinking document that directs our resources to the vital areas of reading and numeracy while also acknowledging the systemic barriers that some students face and that need to be addressed,” she said. “A policy that I’m particularly proud to have helped move forward is our new ‘Student Dress Guidelines.’ Due to the work of this board, and after extensive feedback from partners, we now have a district-wide policy that focuses on safety rather than modesty. This means that girls in particular are no longer missing class or being body shamed because of their clothing.”
Reichelt said she wants to spend the next four years focusing on equity and reconciliation.
“True equity would mean that every student in the district would have access to the programs and services that support and inspire them regardless of their economic background or the neighbourhood they live in,” she explained. “It would mean that students of all abilities were able to fully participate in learning and play.”
Reichelt said reconciliation isn’t just a goal, it’s a duty, and she’s proud of SD33’s new motto Syós:ys Iets’e th’ále, lets’emó:t, which translates to one heart, one mind, working together for a common purpose.
“Choosing to use a Halq’eméylem phrase as a guiding principle for the district is just one way that we are demonstrating our commitment to true partnership with Indigenous people,” Reichelt noted. “Our work will not be done until we achieve parity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous grad rates.”