| Oct 12, 2006


Feature Article - October 12, 2006

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Feature Article - October 12, 2006

Meet your trustee candidates

byJeff Green

The municipal election season is heating up, and signs are popping up on lawns throughout the province. Mixed in with the council, mayor and reeve signs, are signs for school board trustee candidates

School board trustees are elected at the same time as township councillors, although they have nothing to do with municipal politics in between elections.

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They do play an important role in providing community input to school boards, which in this age of centralization are inevitably based in cities far away from rural schools. In the past, trustees have often been acclaimed to their posts, but this time there is a race for both Limestone District School Board (LDSB) trustee positions in Frontenac County and Addington Highlands . Ken Gilpin (incumbent) and Barb McLaren will be on the ballot throughout South Frontenac Township , and Ann Goodfellow (incumbent) and Jamie Riddell are contesting the position in Central and North Frontenac and Addington Highlands. (Wendy Procter has been acclaimed for her third term as trustee for the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic School Board)

As part of our continuing election coverage, this week we present profiles of the candidates for school board trustee.

SOUTH FRONTENAC

KEN GILPIN Ken Gilpin is the owner of Frontenac Law Enforcement Incorporated, which provides bylaw enforcement services in Frontenac County . He has served as a trustee for one term, and although he does not have a background in education, he brought his experience in the business community to the board. For the past two years he has served as the chair of the Property and Operations Committee of the Board, the committee that oversees the tendering contracts.

He is proud of the role he played in securing a meeting with then Education Minister Gerard Kennedy, where the particular concerns of the Limestone Board were brought to the fore. The LDSB’s small population and large distances make issues like transportation and high heating bills more relevant to budgeting than in larger, more concentrated boards.

Gilpin says that a school board has to be looked at as a business, which needs to save money where money can be saved without impacting the students.

In the next term he would like to play a role in ensuring that needed upgrades to schools are accomplished in the best possible way.

Ken Gilpin has two grandchildren attending school with the Limestone Board.

BARB MCLAREN Barb McLaren lives with her family on a hobby farm north of Sydenham. She has eight children, ranging in age from 11 to 23, and four of them currently attend school in Limestone Board. Barb has been active on parent councils at Loughborough and Harrowsmith Public Schools and Sydenham High School . She also teaches French, and has occasionally worked on contract for the board. She is currently working on her Master’s of Education through the University of Phoenix Online .

She also did some home schooling in the late 1980’s and early 90’s and one of the things she would like to accomplish as trustee is to reach out to parents who home school, to inform them of specific programming, such as French immersion and Focus programming, that is available through the board.

She would like to see more emphasis placed on agriculture in the rural schools, and would like to see the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program enhanced.

Central & North Frontenac and Addington Highlands :

ANN GOODFELLOW Ann Goodfellow has served on the board for the past six years, and has been the vice chair of the board for the last two. She is proud of the service she has rendered in bringing the views and needs of the northern region to the board table in Kingston .

Before seeking a trustee position, Ann was involved for several years on the Hinchinbrooke Public School and Sharbot Lake High School parent councils, and also chaired the high school liaison committee. Her two children both graduated from Sharbot Lake High School .

Ann recently sold her business, Goodfellow’s Flowers, partly in order to have the time to take on expanded activities with the Board. She continues to work with her husband David, who owns the Goodfellow Funeral Home in Parham.

Ann’s direct personal involvement in the school system has driven her continued commitment to seek re-election in order to maintain the “voice of the north” within the board, and to continue to foster the relationships and participation in educational services in the communities she serves.

JAIME RIDDELL Jaime Riddell is the father of three young children, who lives in Mountain Grove. He has been a volunteer firefighter for the past 19 years, and he works as the service manager at the Kingston Truck Centre.

As his kids have come into the school system at Land o’ Lakes Public School , he has taken an interest in the school and the board.

He says that he has heard some of what happens at the board level from the school’s principal, but not enough from the trustee, and would like to see communications improved between the board and parents. He would like to see a new website, or an expanded board website, to address this problem.

He also said he would like to see the trustee be more familiar with each school, and would like to see improvements in the co-op and intern programs for northern students.

“We have to represent the interests of each individual school, and each individual area, at the board level,” he said.

(Candidates for trustee have been invited to the All-Candidates meetings throughout the regions where they are running. In South Frontenac, there will be four opportunities to meet the candidates in the next couple of weeks, and for the northern candidates there will be eight opportunities to meet the candidates.)

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