Long-time educator Craig Gillis has thrown his hat into the ring to be a trustee for the Campbell River School District.
“I’ve been fortunate that I got to spend much of my career as a teacher, counsellor, administrator, senior management team member in School District 72. So 32 of my 34 years,” he said. “I’ve always believed that we have a remarkable school district. It’s dynamic, progressive, and I just want to be part of the team that enables us to continue to guide that focus.”
While Gillis has seen the inner workings of the school district — he has been everything from a teacher to a principal to the Director of Instruction for the district and even assistant superintendent, he has not been at the table able to make the decisions that drive the district.
“This is the first time I’ve ever put my name forward for any kind of elected office,” he said.
That being said, Gillis has had a lot of experience in community building. He was the District Governor for the 91 Rotary clubs on Vancouver Island and Western Washington, has been chair of the Campbell River Community Foundation, and is currently finishing his second term as a B.C. Marriage commissioner, a role that he says has “launched many ‘happily ever after’ moments.”
As far as his goals for the district, Gillis wants to focus on providing an inclusive educational experience for every child that comes through the system.
“I’ve always believed that as a public education system, we have to do our very best to provide confidence and skills for every student who enters our doors. As a result, I think we can continue to build on a lot of the programs that are really critical to student success, such as early literacy and numeracy,” he said.
“Because I worked in elementary, middle and secondary as a teacher, counsellor and administrator, I think I’ve got a really deep insight into what works well at all of those levels of education. I’m really committed to partnering with people who really believe in building those fundamental building blocks of confidence and skills for all students.”
Gillis also recognizes the need for budgeting, and has experience in that area.
“We have a remarkable budget process in place in Campbell River School District, we bring together partners from all of the unions and people make suggestions, decisions and have some input and some voice,” he said. “These are more difficult, as we all know there are restrained dollars. It allows us to be very thoughtful and collaborative.”
“We have a school district that has been the envy of many in the province. Relationships and trusted partnerships are at the core of bringing together everyone who has a vested interest in creating programs or opportunities that support the growth of a wide spectrum of learners,” he said.
Gillis can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
– From a submission by Craig Gillis