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Vernon school trustee seeks second term

Mark Olsen running again as a Vernon rep on the school district board
Mark Olsen hopes to earn a second term as a Vernon School District trustee. (Contributed)

His first term was terrific.

And so, Mark Olsen is hoping for a second term as a Vernon School District trustee, letting his name stand in the Oct. 15 municipal election.

“The past four years have been a great experience and we have achieved a considerable number of positive results in that time,” said Olsen. “I want to be a part of the continued growth of our students and district and ensure implementation of our new strategic plan.”

Olsen has served on many district committee’s including the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, health and safety, as well as being involved in budget and board policy development. He has also represented the district at regional and provincial formats regarding district funding and operational governance.

He previously served as a director for the North Okanagan Shuswap United Way and vice-chair and secretary treasurer of the Provincial K-12 President’s Council.

In total, Olsen has 35 years of experience in the school system including more than three decades as a school district employee.

“I feel my experience in the public education system has been a valuable asset to the school board, giving me a unique perspective on the public school system and allowing me to help ensure a better learning and working environment for our students and staff,” said Olsen. “My extensive involvement with administrators, parent groups, teachers, and support staff has given me a broad understanding of the issues, challenges and frustrations of students, parents and employees.”

Olsen noted that while the board has had much success, there are still issues that need to be further addressed.

“One of my main goals in the next term is to eliminate the discrepancy in success rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and to elevate the success rate for students with diverse needs,” he said. “For too many years we have seen this gap in achievements exist and it must change. Equity for our students is extremely important so our students can achieve their maximum potential.”

He is also pleased that one of the strategic plan operational framework directives is, “Empower students to support climate action and have a positive impact on the environment.”

“Climate change needs to be addressed and it will be our generation and the next few generations to tackle this issue,” said Olsen. “We can make a difference if we all pull together in the same direction.”

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