After a six year stint, school board chair Helen Moats will not be running for re-election.
Moats was a school trustee for the first three years, and has been chair for the last three.
She said it was a tough decision for her to make as she found her work as the chair positive and meaningful, but she wants to have more time in her life for other things.
“I have other responsibilities in my life that take a lot of time, so that was the ultimate decision maker, or deal breaker for me,” said Moats.
Although she will not be involved with the school board anymore, Moats won’t be fading into the shadows of the community.
She organizes a concert series on Quadra Island, is an accompanist for Campbell River Singers, and sings in Island Voices Chamber Choir.
Moats also has some “educational irons in the fire,” as she is an education coordinator for the Hakai Beach Institute, which is a non-profit teaching, research and conference facility on Calvert Island, north of Vancouver Island.
During her time on the school board Moats has seen some changes take place. For example, almost every position at the district level has a new person working in it since five years ago, and Moats said she’s happy with the current team.
“I feel confident going forward with the choices we’ve made in terms of our educational leadership in the district,” explained Moats.
Also, the board put a strategic plan in place a couple of years ago, and Moats said it was a huge accomplishment as it helps guide the board in all of its decisions.
The four goals of the plan are: to create a sustainable high-quality secondary school model; review and enhance services and supports to special needs, Aboriginal and vulnerable learners; facilitate increased community connections and involvement in education; and increase environmental awareness and stewardship throughout the organization.
“It’s provided focus within the district,” said Moats. “That guidance has been really positive within the district, and has guided a lot of decisions that have been made, and continue to be made.”
Her biggest frustration while on the school board has been the funding pressures. Moats continually wrote letters to the higher-ups to advocate for more funding, and funding that’s predictable and sustainable for public education. While she said it’s a slow process, she believes progress is being made.
“It feels glacial, sometimes you feel it’s one forward and two back, but I don’t feel that it was entirely useless work,” said Moats.