Past school trustee Ted Foster has announced his candidacy for one of the five Campbell River spots as school trustee in the Nov. 19 Board of Education elections.
Foster served as a trustee for the 2005–2008 term, and he narrowly missed re-election in 2008.
Foster was born in Comox, raised in Union Bay, and served in the regular army. He moved to Campbell River in 1970 and worked as a local self employed insurance adjuster, which he said gives him a strong business background.
Foster has been an active volunteer member and past president of the noon Rotary Club since 1975. He initiated the Rotary Seawalk project in 1994, and he has continuously chaired the Seawalk committee since its inception. Foster was also a leader on the steering committee during the development of the Wilderness Centre and Centennial Trails at Strathcona Provincial Park.
Converting Ecole Willow Point Elementary School into a single track French Immersion facility as an academic challenge to our local learners, was something Foster considered a highlight in his time on the school board.
“The previous dual track model was inefficient for a small school. A big plus was securing $3.2 million in Ministry funding to upgrade and enlarge this older school at a time of declining district student enrollment. Students may have been bused to other schools. The opportunity was identified; the moving forward was a collaborative board decision with management staff following through exceptionally well,” said Foster.
Foster added that he was active in lobbying his fellow trustees and presenting challenges to senior staff, and he served as board representative on the design and building committees.
“Schools are all about community service, especially the mandate to educate and prepare our youth for the adventures tomorrow will bring. The district has done a good job. It could do better. The island economy is rough,” said Foster.
“The school district 72 budget is tight. There is little funding for new initiatives. We must look for opportunities. The Strong Start and International Student initiatives make use of existing facilities, generate funding, provide exposure and create employment.”
According to Foster, a board should represent a cross section of the community, a balancing of people with different skill sets and experiences that can come together.
“Trustees exercise wisdom, call on their experiences and are there to represent our community values,” said Foster.