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Penticton Votes: Meet school trustee candidate Barb Sheppard

Candidates running for a seat on SD67 school board were asked 3 education questions
Barb Sheppard with her 18 year old son Kehler Smith, a Pen Hi grad (2021) currently earning his Aerospace Engineering degree and his mom’s biggest supporter. (Submitted)

The Penticton Western News will be providing coverage of all candidates in the 2022 municipal election. Each candidate for School District 67 Penticton school trustee has been asked to provide a short bio and answer 3 questions below. Barb Sheppard is seeking to serve her third term. Below are her answers to three questions:

Like all projects that Barb is involved in, she did extensive research before deciding to run for school trustee. Her skill-set and experience fit well with the role of a Trustee. She is driven, organized, energetic and flexible. Between her board governance work and her work with various committees and community organizations, Barb has developed a unique ability to listen to the sometimes conflicting needs of various parties; look for options that meet the best interests of the collective group; re-build relationships and mindfully deliver solutions that work. Barb is excited to continue to have the opportunity to make the best ‘public education’ decisions, with a focus on student success and to put her business, governance and community background to work as a school trustee for a third term.

1.The long-term facilities plan will be decided in the term you are elected. If it is determined that the best way to use educational spaces is to close a school, are you in favour of doing that?

The Long-Term Faciliities Plan is a comprehensive planning tool with a 10-year timeframe. The plan presents the boards vision for the use of our Districts current capital assets and our strategies for the most-effective delivery of education programs within our facilities. At this time, with a focus on student success, and based on the current research, it is clear that the board needs to take the crucial steps to ‘right size’ our district.

2. What are the most pressing needs within the Okanagan Skaha School District?

As 1 of 7 elected trustees for SD#67 it is important that we focus on the role. Right now the top three pressing duties include:

- Advocating on behalf of the District to the Ministry of Education

- Approving the District budget

- Approving the District Strategic Plan

It is also important that we continue to

- Set policy

- Oversee the Superintendent

- Attend and participate in committee meetings to hear feedback from partner groups

- Attend school and district functions

- Support board decisions and communicate them to the public

- Live by and communicate the district values and

- Hear appeals

3. What qualifies you to be a school trustee?

Prior to being elected as a trustee for the past eight years, Barb was a Board Member of Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen for over 15 years. During the past 25 years, Barb Sheppard has gained extensive experience working with boards on budgets and policy.

Currently, Barb is the Chair of the SD67 Education Committee of the Whole; the elected representative on the School Trustees Branch Executive and she sits on the Okanagan College - Penticton Advisory Council.