Brockville – Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Trustees acknowledged Local Government Week recently during presentations at area schools.
Trustees Bill MacPherson, Caroll Carkner, John McAllister and Donald Cram spoke to UCDSB students about the importance of their role to public education. They discussed responsibilities such as setting Board policies, overseeing management of the Board budget, working as a team, and bringing concerns of the public to school and system leaders.
Students questioned Trustees regarding Board policy, how often the Board meets, what they are ultimately responsible for as Trustees, and how they are elected.
MacPherson was invited to Maple Grove Public School to speak about the Trustee role, as well as the history of schools that have served the area.
“Essentially, I wanted to create a broader awareness of the role of the Trustee,” said MacPherson, after addressing a Grades 5/6 class on Friday morning. “Quite often we’re the forgotten politicians and it’s nice to see the school taking an interest.”
Trustee Bill MacPherson said creating a greater understanding of local government among our youth is critical to our democracy and our quality of life. This is because the children of today are the citizens of tomorrow who will be making important decisions regarding local government and education.
1st Vice Chair Caroll Carkner visited Cambridge Public School last Wednesday to help students understand how trustees fit into the hierarchy of local government. Carkner also wanted students to understand the limits placed on Trustees, particularly when it comes to allocation of resources.
“I wanted them to know that the money we spend is from the Ministry of Education and there are specific things we must spend it on.”
Trustee Donald Cram visited Beckwith Public School on Tuesday where he spoke with five classes about the importance of school board Trustees and the role they play in setting policies across the Upper Canada District School Board. He has planned more school presentations this week.
Trustee John McAllister spoke to a class at Sweet’s Corners Elementary School on Tuesday about the role of the Trustee, and how it differs from a provincial and federal representative. McAllister also plans to speak to a civics class at Athens District High School on November 3.
While Trustees will often visit schools throughout the year, Local Government Week provides a specific focus for connecting with students in the Upper Canada District School Board.