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Mental health advocate eyes Vernon school trustee seat

Truman Spring is in the running for the board of trustees
Truman Spring is seeking a seat on the Vernon School District’s board of trustees in the Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 election. (Submitted photo)

A man with a penchant for mental health advocacy as well as years of experience overseeing school budgets is vying for a seat on the Vernon School District’s board of trustees.

Truman Spring has been in the K-12 school system for over 40 years, with 20 of those years in senior management positions. He was the director of student services in Vernon, where he oversaw a budget of $8 million, and was also the district principal of student support services in Prince George, where he oversaw a district budget of more than $27 million.

“The budgeting process in districts is an interesting and complex process, one which I am very familiar with,” said Spring. “Not only was I part of the budgeting process, but was also tasked with governing the use and allocation of the funds for my department and reporting to the superintendent and the trustees.”

Spring witnessed first-hand that the budgeting process works best when it is collaborative and includes a needs assessment and the participation and input of stakeholders.

Spring is also a strong advocate for mental health.

“By talking openly about issues like anxiety and depression and identifying individualized coping skills and supports, students learn lifelong skills to manage their mental well-being,” Spring said. “I believe the district has done a reasonable job at this but current circumstances call for revisiting our approach to addressing mental health and well-being.”

Spring said being in an education system that has grappled with a lot of transition due to the pandemic has been an “incredibly difficult and emotionally taxing experience” for teachers, administrators and support staff. He therefore thinks mental health services need to be accessible from the district level to support everyone in Vernon’s schools.

“My opinion is that all students deserve great educational opportunities,” he said. “We need to invest in our teachers, our classrooms and our technology if we want to provide the greatest learning experience for our students.”

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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