Tom Williamson

Tom Williamson

Williamson looks to keep Vernon school trustee seat

Former teacher of more than 40 years has been instrumental in dual credit programs

A longtime Vernon teacher is looking to continue the work he has accomplished with the school district.

Tom Williamson, who is currently vice chair of the Vernon school board, is running for a second term as a trustee.

Following 40 years as a teacher and careers co-ordinator in the Vernon School District, Williamson says it has been a positive past four years on the board.

The outgoing board had worked on and approved a new five-year strategic plan. Moving forward, Williamson would like to continue his involvement with this process in working toward student success.

“The objective is to establish who is in charge? What are the priority tasks?” Williamson said. “These are the coordinating steps the board needs to bring the strategic plan together.”

Williamson served on several school district committees, and was selected by the board to represent the district on the provincial level with the BC School Trustees Association. He also served as past director of the Career Education Society and district representative on the Industry Training Authority.

Of the three goals of education, literacy and numeracy, Williamson’s focus has been on career development, student choice and career transitioning.

He was instrumental in promoting the first dual credit program in the district, being involved with the RCMP youth academy, hockey academy and the golf academy.

“These formed the foundational pieces for the many academy choices offered for today’s students,” said Williamson, who recently spearheaded the development of two new academies: firefighter/first responder and health sciences. “This will be the first of its kind in the province, allowing the students to work toward a career that requires a post-secondary education, but not necessitating a university degree.”

As district career coordinator, Williamson also orchestrated the first dual credit trade program in the school district: CNC machining/joinery, which churned out more dual credit trade options. Upon completion, students received high school credit in addition to credits toward the foundational portion of the trade.

“The success of this program was the forerunner to many dual credit options available to school district #22 students today,” said Williamson, whose mission statement is: equal justice, equal opportunity.

Former Vernon School District administrator Jason Corday, who is now the director of instruction at the Penticton School District, supports Williamson.

“I am incredibly impressed with your passion, knowledge and experience to all you do. Rare is it to find a visionary with such commitment to implementation.”

READ MORE: Vernon school trustee seeks second term

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