A slate of candidates has announced their intention to run for Delta school board this fall.
The slate, called Kids Matter, includes incumbent trustee Bruce Reid as well as newcomers Randy Anderson-Fennell and Victor Espinoza. According to a press release issued last week, Kids Matter will be focused on ensuring Delta school are “safe, inclusive, accessible, well-funded and academically enriching.”
Reid, a Tsawwassen resident and former pastor, has been a Delta school board trustee for the past four years and is retiring as a teacher with Richmond School District this year. He lists the under-funding of education and not enough resources for special needs students as particular barriers that need addressing.
“As a trustee for the past four years, I’ve seen our district celebrate triumphs and overcome many challenges,” Reid said in the press release. “But there is still so much to do in order to ensure the success of all learners. My work is not yet done.”
Espinoza, a Ladner resident and 20-year public school teacher, currently works in a high school in Richmond. According to the press release, “ensuring learners have multiple pathways to success” is among his top priorities, and he is an advocate of innovative instruction, academically enriching experiences and access to sustainable technology.
“I want to see every Delta student reach their maximum educational, personal and social potential,” Espinoza said in the press release. “Our schools should be the foundation where students discover their strengths so that they can thrive in our ever-changing, increasingly technological and fast-paced world.”
Ladner resident Anderson-Fennell is an electrician who works in the Surrey School District. He said he has seen first-hand the effect that years of under-funding has had on public education.
“Under-funding affects every aspect of a child’s education, from educational resources to safety to maintenance to simple classroom cleanliness,” Anderson-Fennell said. “It all goes back to funding, and we’re well past the point of merely being able to do more with less.”
Kids Matter is the second slate of candidates to announce their intention to run for school board. Current board chair Laura Dixon, trustee Nick Kanakos and district PAC chair Joe Muego are running on the Independents Working for You slate lead by mayoral candidate and former Delta Police chief Jim Cessford.
Vice-chair Val Windsor told the Reporter last month that she intends to run as an independent candidate for trustee but has yet to make a formal announcement.
Trustee Rhiannon Bennett, who ran with Reid under the Kids Matter banner in 2014, told the Reporter she intends to run again in the fall and that she will be announcing her own slate of school board candidates soon.
“I’m working on putting a team together with two women. We’re not quite ready for our launch yet,” Bennett said. “But I am looking at bringing two other strong women to advocate and bring a wider breadth of voices to the table. I think that … our current board and [Independents Working for You candidate] Joe [Muego] have done an exceptional job but there are still some voices at the table that are missing that I’m trying to bring with me.”
Five-term trustee Fabian Milat announced on June 12 that he will not be seeking another term, freeing up one the seven seats on the board for someone new.
No word yet on whether trustee Dale Saip intends to run again.
The election takes place Oct. 20.