Noah Dwain Arney
Party affiliation (if any): None
Education: Bachelor of Education (UBC), Bachelor of Arts (UFV)
Occupation: Student Advisor with Native Education College
Previous political experience: Heavily involved in student government at UFV
Residency (city/neighbourhood): Laburnum Area
Community involvement: Four years on the executive of a local not-for-profit educational association, two as the president of it.
Marital status/children: Married, one son
Social media: facebook.com/electnoaharney Twitter: @ndarney
What do you feel are two key education-related issues Abbotsford voters should be considering when choosing trustee representatives in this civic election?
Communication with Abbotsford residents
Advocating with the provincial government
Communication should be open, accessible, easy, and two way. We should be doing everything in our power to have as much local input on school board decisions as possible. Education is the interest of every citizen and we should be doing a better job of ensuring that the whole city is aware of and able to give feedback on current issues. One example of how communication failed was in the proposed pay increase (trustee indemnity) for School Trustees. If communication had been better both ways the end result would either have been voting against the increase or the board would have been able to better explain why they feel it was needed. Although the current board is very good at ensuring that information about school and community activities programs and events are disseminated the information coming out about the board’s decisions is limited to the newsletter and the meeting minutes. Information about topics before the board should be easily accessible and published in multiple venues including through the district’s social media ahead of meeting times.
The school board needs to be a public advocate for education and should be representing the diverse needs of our community. The purpose of the school board system is to allow a measure of local control over local education and to be a voice for the community to the government regarding education. Otherwise the government might as well abolish the elected school boards and replace them with local appointed school boards. The school trustees need to take the concerns of the community and ensure that they are being listened to.