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Penticton Votes: Meet school trustee candidate Tracy Van Raes

Candidates running for a seat on SD67 school board were asked 3 education questions
Tracy Van Raes is looking to re-elected to SD67 school board. (contributed)

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. Here are the answers from incumbent Tracy Van Raes:

I am seeking re-election to the Board of Education for a second term. I am a mother of two. My daughter graduated from Pen-High in 2018. My son is currently in Grade 10 at Pen-High. I am a Summerland Secondary graduate and have lived in the South Okanagan for over 30 years. I am the Manager of marketing and community relations at Total Restoration. I’m a proud member of Rotary, JCI and Kiwanis as well as a member of various other boards and service clubs. I Chair the Rotary Club of Penticton’s Starfish Pack Program which I have passionately been a part of for five years. We assist youth and their families with bags of food for weekends.

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?

I was involved in the school closures in 2016 as a PAC Chair. I understand the emotions that go with these extremely hard decisions. The reality is that we are faced with decreased enrolment of 2,000 less students than the capacity of our buildings. Now, 6 years later we are still paying to heat and clean those classrooms and buildings that sit empty. The funds to pay for that come out of student programs and educational time. Summerland Secondary doesn’t have a band program. Princess Margaret isn’t able to run a calculus class. Year after year we are left trying to balance a budget with shortfalls. There is nothing left to cut. It’s time to right size our district.

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

The most pressing issue is that we need to right size our district and put funds back into programs for


3. What qualifies you to be a school trustee?

I have served my constituency well over the last four years as a trustee. I advocate for the needs of marginalized students. I have demanded better communication and transparency and am extremely proud of our accomplishments during my term.


Trustee Forum Oct. 4

SD67 Okanagan Skaha trustee candidate Forum is being held on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 7 until 9 p.m. at the IMC Building at 425 Jermyn Avenue. It is presented by CUPE 523 Unit SD67, Okanagan Skaha Teachers’ Union and Okanagan Skaha DPAC.

Hear trustee candidates speak about their platforms and be asked the hard pressing questions. Everyone is welcome.

The candidates vying for the four seats on the board table are: Shelley Clarke, Kate Hansen, Lynn Kelsey, James Palanio, Barb Sheppard and Tracy Van Raes.