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2014 TVDSB Candidate Survey - Sheri Polhill

On September 14th, I emailed the London candidates for Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) Trustee.  As outlined in a previous blog post, this was done to provide more exposure to this important position and to give Londoners an opportunity to get more insight into the candidates.


Sheri Polhill - Candidate Wards 1,11,12,14 (incumbent)
Thank you very much Spencer for this opportunity and your ongoing interest in education and the role of Trustee.

Why do you want to be a school board trustee?
Now is the most important time to be involved and have a say in Public Education. Between School Closures, declining enrolment and the Funding formula issues, there is no greater time of change than now. Being a school board trustee allows me to take the public voice to the Board table. I want to be that voice. My Social Work back ground provides a unique approach to student concerns. I am running so that I can be part of directing the change instead of letting change happen to our communities (good and bad)

What do you consider to be the most important role of a school board trustee?
The most important role is to be a liason for the constituents, although this is not a large portion of the time spent as trustee. Equally important roles are to create supportive policies, be responsible in the budget of funds, and to be accountable for the actions of the board to the public

What do you believe to be the most important issue for the TVDSB to address over the next four years?
Declining enrolment is the mort important issue. Declining enrolment has made it's way through the Elementary Grades and they have now stabilized. This decline has now reached the Highschool level and provides for difficult situations regarding class options and class diversity. As highschools get smaller in population so do the teachers required to be in those schools. This impacts classrooms and extra curricular. Over the next 4 years as declining enrolment makes it's way through the highschool grades we will need, as a board, to balance the budget provided by the funding formula and the needs of the students. We will need to look at unique and new options to give a full education to the smaller high schools in Thames Valley.

And It goes without saying that declining enrollment is the catalyst for school closures in Thames Valley and therefore has been a struggle at Board Level for the past 7 years. The next 4 years will be no different as the Board finds solutions to right size the number of classroom spaces to match the new student numbers.

What skills and experience do you have that qualify you to be a school board trustee?
I have been a trustee for the past 2 terms. Every day, every meeting I learned more and more about the handcuff's that are placed on the school boards of Ontarion by the Ministry of Education. This experience is priceless.

As a full time social worker I see the effects of education and a positive school experience every day. I feel that this brings a different mental framework to the position of trustee.

And lastly I have 2 children currently attending TVDSB and therefore I never forget the needs of families and parents and their important role in the school board.



How can voters get in touch with you for more information?
I am available at sheri.polhill@gmail.com. A quick email with contact information and I will be sure to call them and assist in any way I can.

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