It’s been 18 years since Bill Turanski sat at his first meeting of the board of education for School District 22.
And in that time, the current board chairman has not wavered in his commitment to public education.
“I have been involved in the education system in one form or another for almost all of my adult life,” said Turanski. “It is something I know and something I enjoy.
“I enjoy the challenges that come with it and I feel that with all the experience that I have had in the system that I have something to offer.”
As the sole candidate to represent Coldstream, Turanski has been acclaimed to another three-year term on the board. As a former student of Vernon High School and principal at BX elementary school, he has deep ties to the district. He has also been witness to numerous changes to education over the years.
“We know a great deal more about how children learn and are continuing to learn more at an ever increasing rate,” said Turanski. “The challenge has been to adapt to rapid change including how to implement it and fund it. The single greatest challenge seems to be how to accommodate change and use it effectively as possible.
“Our teachers do a truly wonderful job in coping with and utilizing change for the benefit of our students.”
Turanski acknowledges that these are challenging times for trustees, but the rewards are many.
“It is difficult, challenging and demanding but when you succeed it can be very rewarding.”
Trustees will have a full schedule of those challenges once trustees — both new and returning — take their seats at the board table after the Nov. 19 election.
The educational system is embracing personalized student learning and this may require everyone to accept new ways of accommodating student learning, said Turanski, adding that with the economy in its current state, trustees will continue to have to try and do more with less.
“As well, we have outgrown our board office facility. The board room and a number of our services operate out of very old portable classrooms which are reaching the end of their life expectancy. We will have to find a way of upgrading the whole school board office complex without the benefit of ministry funding.”
Yet with all of the challenges, Turanski said there’s nowhere he’d rather be and much of that is due to what he calls the dedicated, talented and caring people with whom he works and with whom he deals on a daily basis: trustee colleagues, trustees from other districts, district staff, school board office personnel, administrators, teachers, clerical staff, maintenance department personnel and support workers.
“And not least, the wonderful group of parents who make the work of the various PACs so meaningful and effective.
“All of these individuals are an ongoing inspiration to me.”