Graham Evan MacDonell, a former communications professional turned genealogist, hopes to bring his communications skills to the Abbotsford School District board of education.
MacDonell notes journalism experience covering the Surrey school board, also pointing to experience in corporate communications, including for BC Hydro and the B.C. Liberal Party.
Since his mother and brother passed away, MacDonell said he is turning his energy toward the education of future generations.
“Getting a good education is fundamental to a happy, successful life,” he said in a statement. “And, as a society, we need to place education higher on the list of our priorities.”
MacDonell said it is up to the school board to fulfill the expectations of parents and taxpayers in educating the youth going through the school system “through developing student-supportive policies and by knowing how to garner support from community partners.”
He also spoke of taking the message of underfunding to the province.
“Boards have been hamstrung by underfunding for far too long and it is time to persuade the provincial government to allocate more money for our schools,” MacDonell said.
“Like any corporate organization, the Abbotsford board of education needs new trustees who can contribute their various expertise in governing our excellent school system, particularly during these times of chronic underfunding.”
MacDonell noted two particular challenges ahead: a new contract with the BC Teachers’ Federation after this school year and students being enrolled in schools in separate neighbourhoods, causing overcrowding in some district schools.