Q1 for Better Schools: ROLE OF TRUSTEE

BETTER LANGLEY: In your own words, what is the role of a trustee? 


A note about highlighted answers: Better Langley favourites are selected based on discussions with dozens of parents, teachers, local politicians. Each question had select criteria that the aforementioned stakeholders found to be of the greatest importance and I have done my best to represent these. Additionally, my own academic background in political science, philosophy, religious studies, and real estate all provide its own knowledge base, process of critical thought, and, yes, biases. In order to reduce personal bias toward any candidate or organization, however, answers were read anonymously, separate from the candidate before selecting a “favourite” to highlight.


RAI (Contract with Langley): The Board of Trustees must adhere to provincial mandates, regulations and policy implemented by the B.C. Ministry of Education. Trustee’s must be professional, have integrity and respect for all stakeholders who are working with them to provide the best education system for the students with in our community.

A school board trustee should be listening to the communities views on vital education decisions that affect the lives of our children, then takes action to address or implement those positive changes in the education system.

They are responsible for communicating with transparency on their performance to the parents and the community – both where the board is excelling and struggling to meet their goals.

Most importantly responding to telephone calls or e-mails, meeting requests and queries made by any stakeholders.

LOCKHART (Independent): The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the term “Trustee” is the implied position of trust that comes with this elected position. I think that a Trustee is an essential part of the communication cycle between Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students. Without the right amount of emotional intelligence and intellectual humility, we can and have seen breaks in the communication feedback loop. Trustees ensure that all stakeholders are included in the development and implementation of the Strategic Plan. They serve as steward of the local education system and keep those responsible for the delivery of this essential service accountable. Trustees continue this stewardship by overseeing the district’s financials, ensuring that goals are being met, funds are being allocated to their best possible use and being advocates on behalf of the district when meeting with Provincial and Federal Government representatives to ensure that Langley gets its fair share. Further to this, and quite possibly the most important, Trustees ensure successful learning outcomes for students. They constantly evaluate the various educational programs and services provided to students.

PERREAULT (Independent): There are three primary roles as a Trustee which include:
1) Overseeing budget
2) Ensuring our Strategic Plan remains accountable
3) Hire and oversee our one Employee, the Superintendent
• Creating Policies in line with the MoEC
• Advocacy on behalf of the District to MoEC
• Committee Attendance
• District events, Community Events, Grad Ceremony and School Events attendance
• Ensuring my part of upholding “decision of the Board” communicating out the same

However, it is important to note that our leadership and presence create a model and mirror for safe classrooms through our community engagement and how we lead within our respective and collective roles. For me personally, I observe the role with the spirit of thought that we are saving children’s lives, laying a foundation for them so they can grow and become tomorrow’s leaders. If we capture their hearts, their mind will follow. This is the long-term impact.

DICKINSON (Contract with Langley): The role of trustee is to listen to and advocate for the students, families, and staff in their district. Strong vibrant school communities have trustees who can work in collaborative co-governance paradigms with provincial and municipal governments, as well as DPAC, unions, and all other community stakeholder groups. A trustee should make sure that student success is always at the heart of our decisions.

TURNER (Independent): Due to the issues with your online account, I have chosen not to fill out the survey.

WAKELIN (Independent): School boards share a co-governance relationship with the provincial government and are guided by a framework within which the board must operate. Boards govern school districts based on the needs and goals of the local community. This work is rooted in the policy established by the government. In my opinion, it is crucial that Trustees remember the importance of local representation. Boards of education are rooted in the community and know their constituents, which should inform decisions made. If Trustees are unwilling to advocate when needed and use a student-centred lens when addressing policy, I question their value in the role.

WILSON (Independent): The role of a Trustee, first and foremost is to, support and protect the integrity of the public education system and be an advocate for the stakeholders, primarily students and families, within the education system. Formally the role involves, approving the district budget, strategic planning, hiring the superintendent, advocating to the Ministry and creating policy. There is also a less formal aspect, which is to be a voice and an ear for all involved in education; to oversee the district from a perspective that very few have and to make observations or ask questions that highlight areas that may need attention.

ROSS (Independent): As leaders of the school system we are the cheerleaders of excellence; the passionate parent for parents; the inspiration carriers of world class learning; advocates for all students/families; partners in learning with the Ministry of Education.

FOX: (Independent) As a trustee you work in a governance model, you are responsible for hiring the superintendent and doing an annual performance review. Further, you focus on the following;

a) a balanced and sustainable budget.

b) a sound five year capital plan to address growth and changing demographic needs.

c) the development and over site of a strong strategic Plan that drives the agenda and priorities for the next four years.

d) to be an advocate for, and on behalf of, your District to the Ministry to better the learning environment in your District.

e) policy, to continuously review and update policy to reflect a strong focus on safety and student learning.

NEUFELD (Contract with Langley): Trustees are ultimately responsible to represent the interests of parents, students, and teachers, with an active role in ensuring the best environment for learning. Student success must be our top priority, and never far from our consideration on any decisions we make. Trustees must actively engage their communities to build and maintain a school system that reflects local priorities, values, and expectations. School trustees must truly listen to their communities, guide the work of their school district, and set plans, policies and approve an annual budget as well as capital plan.

Do you believe in a more economically and environmentally sustainable Langley? Do you believe in the work being done here? Do you want to support the work of Better Langley?

If so, please considering donating!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s