A man who retired two years ago from a 32-year career as a teacher and school counsellor has tossed his hat into the ring for school trustee.
Harold Kokot is among 16 candidates seeking election on Nov. 15 to the Abbotsford board of education.
Kokot spent the first six years of his career in Calgary and the remainder in Abbotsford, where he initially taught at Clearbrook junior secondary and then Abbotsford junior and middle schools.
“My big focus was on working with students struggling with behaviour issues and giving them opportunities to succeed,” he said.
Kokot was involved in student sports and was a coach while teaching, and has also been involved in various capacities with the Career Fair at Tradex.
He has also been involved with the Connect Program for four years, assisting parents who have struggled with raising their children, and with the Abbotsford Airshow for 20 years in patron safety and security.
Kokot said he wishes to be involved in a community “that sincerely cares about youth, their education, and will promote and support a school system that respects and commits to working harmoniously with all elected officials of this city and school board.”
He said parental involvement makes for a healthier and successful education system for all.
Kokot added that school personnel need to be adequately funded and encouraged to keep education at a high level.
“Class size and composition are a major key in making this happen.”
Kokot said he has been trained in restorative justice and “will always encourage fairness and equality.”
“I believe that this community needs to be known for its respect for all persons regardless of ethnicity and religious beliefs,” he added.
Kokot said that running for trustee is an opportunity for him to be proactive and supportive of this community.