Having just completed his first three-year term as a Vernon School District trustee, Perry Wainwright is ready to continue the work he started.
One of seven candidates hoping to represent Vernon and Areas B and C, the incumbent said he has enjoyed the many duties he’s taken on as a trustee, such as working on the pesticide committee, visiting schools to initiate discussions with students and teachers on what is happening in their classrooms, and meeting with parents at PAC meetings as they find ways to improve their children’s schools.
“The students and parents are the ones that really motivate me as they have such a positive outlook on what their futures will be,” said Wainwright. “I cannot control funding so I try to focus on the students and their learning environment, whether it’s the elementary students taking pride in the school, their work and accomplishments or parents seeing their children transform into successful high school students and on to adulthood.
“The teachers’ job action is a serious issue but we must re-focus on making students the priority.”
He said one of the biggest misconceptions about the school board is the power they have to influence the provincial government for more funding.
“We can do nothing to produce more dollars for the school district, as it is based upon provincial formulas and laws.”
Wainwright, 49, operates a landscaping business in town. He and his wife of 20 years have one child who has gone through the Vernon school system from kindergarten to Grade 12 and is now at UBCO studying computer science.
When Wainwright ran for trustee three years ago, he talked about his hopes for better communication between the board and stakeholders.
“I have always been open and transparent in my communications with everyone. This is a very difficult time to assess communications because of the on-going labour issues.
“I believe that I have been a positive agent for better communication within the district by going to the schools, talking with PAC groups and meeting with students to discuss their concerns.”