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Janice Caton

Independent for Courtenay School Board
As a trustee all our work is student driven - focused and how will those decisions impact student achievement

Misc. topics

Biography

submitted by the candidate or their team
I have been a strong advocate for public education and have been supporting the students, teachers, parents and the Comox Valley educational community for over 30 years. I have the experience and knowledge and dedication to serve the community

I have lived in the Valley for over 40 years raising all three of my sons, and have 4 amazing grandchildren and it is because of them I remain committed to the delivery of a strong flexible, robust public education program for the Comox Valley.

My family has deeps roots in the Comox Valley with my grandfather's parents immigrating here in the late 1800's - we decided to move back to the valley to raise our family, with all three of my sons being born at St. Joseph's hospital Comox, When they started school I became involved in my children's school, first as a parent volunteer and then as an advocate when the district grew and needed new schools and spaces for the incoming students. Over the years prior to becoming a trustee I volunteered in the classroom, at many school events and sat on a number of district committees. I am currently employed by Canada Post now for the past 21 years as Postmaster and peer mentor -trainer.

My experience -

I have been a trustee now for 5 terms, during which I have supported many district initiatives supporting students and district staff. I am caring, compassionate, a good listener, experienced in developing policy, understanding the needs of a growing district and the challenges we will face with such growth. I am also president of the Vancouver Island School Trustees' Association and with that I am able to connect with ministry and provincial colleagues to better serve my community.

I believe that every student student deserves the opportunity to receive a rich, equitable, and full education that embraces their passions, and challenges them to become global citizens.

And that all schools shall provide a welcoming, safe, and inclusive learning environment, so students can attend school free from all forms of racism, discrimination, and harassment

I support and believe in the following -

- Increased student voice and leadership - I believe in a strong student voice at both the district and provincial level in our work as trustees. I have made two motions on this matter, one locally at our board, that our district create a district student council which passed unanimously and then also I made a motion through our association at the BCSTA provincial level that we include student voice in our work which also passed. It is important that we do include student voice in our work developing policies and making decisions because they are the ones impacted by the decision we often make at the board table.

-Truth and Reconciliation and continued support for indigenous students and their families - working with Komok's First Nations and also the district's Indigenous Education Committee we need to continue to advocate that all the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation report are adopted, implemented and enacted upon.

-Mental health supports and initiatives for students and staff. Students and the community have identify mental health as a crisis in many ways, lack of community supports, doctors and the time to get into see some one has had an impact of those needing support and help. We as a district have committed to work with community groups, bringing in resources to support students and staff and will continue to do so and now more than ever we need to increase funding for this. I am a strong advocate for increasing our supports for students and awareness of mental health as a priority in our work as trustees and policies.

-Environmental stewardship and sustainability -we are in a climate crisis and recent events such as atmospheric rivers, heat domes and forest fires have had a major impact on all of us and we need to as a district look at how we can change, adjust how we do business, and how we can work with our community, governments and industry to become more greener and sustainable in our work and play as district leaders.

-Increase Capital funding for District Projects ( seismic upgrades, additions to schools to support increase enrolment , new playground structures that are fully accessible and also support inclusive play for all students, outside classrooms, gardens and food security)

-Community engagement - ensuring that we continue to engage the community in all of our work - such as developing our district strategic plan which will guide the work of the board for the next 4 years and determine how funds are allocated.

-I have the knowledge and understanding of the school act - government polices and procedures that directly impact the work of the board and district. I know how to lobby the Ministry for the funding required so that we can have the ability to provided a rich and robust educational experience for all students. I am a strong advocate for ensuring that teachers, district staff and schools have the necessary resources and tools to support the learning needs of all students.

-I have successfully as a member of the board advocated for and lobbied the provincial government to support the seismic renovations for both at G P Vanier and Lake Trail, and in the case of G P Vanier we increased the initial funding from a 2 million simple fix to over 35 million for a complete renovation and refit. And as we grow as a district there is a need to add to our facilities and look at our school capital projects I have that experience needed to get the funding in place.

-An inclusive and safe environment for everyone - I was on the board and Policy committee when our district was one of the first districts in the Province to pass a policy on SOGI and that we allocated funds in our work to ensuring our students continue to receive the complete support of teachers, administrators, parents, trustees, and community, as we all work together to create a positive and inclusive learning environment where all students are free from discrimination, racism and harassment, and I stand by the joint statement from the Minister of Education and Child Care and all K -12 Educational partners on support for SOGI.

It is with gratitude that I acknowledge that we are on the unseeded traditional territories of the K'omoks First Nation. We know that relationships matter and commit to building and deepening our connections with the First Peoples on whole land we live, love and work.

Reason for running

submitted by the candidate or their team
I believe in public education and the students who are our future and ensuring that they have all the tools necessary to succeed and thrive in today's every changing world.

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