Correction – 9:15pm Wednesday, June 7.
Shar McCrory’s bio was incorrect in the original version of this article. This was an error on the part of My PG Now, not on the part of McCrory. The correct bio is now posted below.
Main article – 6:00am Wednesday, June 7.
School District 57’s trustee by-election is coming up on Saturday, June 17.
10 candidates are running for two open positions left by former trustees Betty Bekkering and Gillian Burnett following their resignations just months after being elected.
My PG Now reached out to all the candidates with a list of five questions for them to answer in roughly 500 words or less.
The following are their unedited responses to those questions.
Five candidates are featured in this article, the other five were featured in a separate article published yesterday. You can find that here.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself (a brief bio)
My name is Shar McCrory. I have lived in northern BC for over 30 years. I am the mother of 3 young adults, who all went through and graduated from public education system in Northern BC. I work in a regional role for Northern Health. I am currently on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northern BC and have sat on many community boards over the years. Community involvement, education and family are all very important to me.
I am a young, neurodivergent queer woman born on
the grasslands of the Niitsitapi people. I spent my childhood in small, rural communities and was raised by a multi-generation cattle ranching family. After moving to so-called British Columbia, post-graduation in 2018, I gained my Registered Veterinary Technologist (RVT) accreditation. My role within the community has been to advocate the highest quality of care for those that do not have a voice of their own while educating the public we serve.
Children have surrounded me my entire life, now more than ever since my neighbourhood is filled almost exclusively with families. Having such close proximity to children that are not physically related to me, while also having a niece and nephew of my own, means I have a lot of passion for ensuring the best future for them.
I was born and raised in the Cariboo Chilcotin of Williams Lake, BC, as part of a ranch family. With over 27 years of experience in Education Administration, I have dedicated myself to providing successful educational experiences and promoting academic opportunities, particularly for Indigenous students. I have been privileged to serve the Lheidli T’enneh Nation, implementing traditional community programs from daycare to grade 12.
My commitment to student success and community engagement has led me to various leadership roles, including serving as a Member of the Chief and Council table for 17 consecutive years. Throughout my career, I have prioritized collaboration, competitive analysis, and team leadership to achieve exceptional outcomes for First Nation communities.
In my almost 59 years I have lived at various locations around the province. I spent most of my young years in Prince Rupert and most of my teen years in Smithers, with a one-year stint in Colorado.
My working life has spanned a lot of locations from Smithers, down to Vancouver and a one-year stint as an Education Assistant in Northern Manitoba with the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and tech support with the Yekooche First Nation. It has also spread from a common labourer with the CN Railway, to a Stockbroker, school bus driver with Diversified, warehouse person, supervisor of warehouse and truck drivers and I am presently the Inside Sales Representative for a local industrial supply company and shuttle driver with Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
During the last 10 years, I have served on several Boards, including locally with Bel Canto Choirs and the Fraser Lyric Opera Society, and provincially with the Board for Food Banks BC.
I Josh Silva am a very concerned father of 2 girls that truly cares! I always give everyone a chance, with no exceptions! Actions speak louder than words. Your actions prove if you have the people’s best interests in mind or if you are self-serving. I listen to concerns with an open mind! I won’t run from, or avoid facing and helping find resolve in the toughest issues in order to make it possible for us all to move forward together, in a productive manner. I will not let my personal interests or beliefs get in the way of making our education system better for all children!
2. Why have you decided to run for school board?
1. I have a passion for accessible, and inclusive education, not just for children but for everyone within our communities. A solid foundation with a wide span of knowledge is the best way to set up our children for a successful future. This includes teaching inclusion on all levels and not just with children, but with the public and all stakeholders. I am a huge advocate for progressive change, ensuring everyone in our community is supported, and I see this opportunity as a way to connect all of the different communities together.
I believe in public education and supporting students, teachers and staff. I have been an advocate for youth and education for over 25 years. My journey with public education began with PACs and DPAC and led me to become a trustee. I was a school board trustee for Coast Mountain School District 82 for 8 years. I was Board Chair for 6 years and Vice Chair for 2 years.
After 27 years of service to many educational tables, I have decided to place my name on the ballot for the SD#57 School Board Trustee by-election. I believe it is time to bring my expertise and dedication to a broader platform. My goal is to continue raising the bar for all learners in the district, ensuring that every student enrolled receives the best possible education. I am committed to making a positive impact on their lives and empowering them to succeed.
Over the last few months, I have seen what appears to be a Board struggling to get traction on moving forward with creating a safe Education environment for all students, staff and families. I think my experience on diverse Boards and my desire to create these safe spaces for all students, staff, and families are something that will be of use to this Board.
I’m running again because many parents and SD57 employees tell me disturbing stories about how our education system is now a fear-based system. We need someone that cares enough to and has the spine to address the issues that are the biggest problems and creating the most division within our community. It makes me wonder how much gets covered up by certain individuals within that are responsible for the culture. I will be a vote for the people! Please vote on June 17th!
3. What would make you an effective Trustee?
I am a very patient and broad-minded person, who is very experienced in communicating with the public. Being able to ask meaningful and concise questions is very important for board members. This is something I am very proud to practice both in my professional and personal life. I also think that I bring a unique and positive perspective by being a young, neurodivergent queer woman who has a wide understanding of the issues that our entire society faces.
I understand the role of a Trustee as well as the roles of the Superintendent and Leadership. I am familiar with the School Act, the strategic plan, bylaws and policies that guide the school district. As a trustee previously, I also have experience working with budgets at a district level and being on various committees in a Trustee role.
My extensive experience in education administration, coupled with my strong leadership skills, uniquely positions me as an effective trustee. I have a proven track record of fostering collaboration, building capacity, and achieving remarkable educational outcomes. I understand the importance of working together as a team and will bring patience, understanding, and clarity to the board.
I prioritize student success above all else, and I am dedicated to supporting parents, guardians, educators, and the community as a whole. With an organized approach to decision-making and transparent communication, I will ensure that the district operates efficiently and effectively.
I would approach this Board, as I have all the Boards I have been on, as a collaborative effort to move forward and solve any issues as they arise.
I will listen, better yet I will actually hear the people’s concerns! I care as much or more about others than at least 90% of society! I will not put myself or my beliefs ahead of the children, or anyone else’s for that matter! This is not a game to me! Children’s lives are not mine to play with! I won’t allow issues and incidents to be swept under the rug, because it allows them to continue! I will be transparent! I won’t be stopped from communicating with our teachers and staff! I will help spread the truth, good or bad! I will speak the truth and nothing but!
4. What are your opinions on SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) policies the district and province have in place?
Every person has a sexual orientation and gender they identify with, regardless of where they live and who they are. Being a queer woman, I express myself outwardly in a different way than someone who may not be a part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
It is important to ensure inclusivity and respect are granted to everyone, in every aspect of life. Equity is the best way to ensure everyone within our community is cared for and respected. However, there are areas within our society, including the school district, that need more attention when it comes to equity and inclusivity. Our indigenous communities currently do not receive this kind of support and we are failing them because of this.
I support SOGI and the policies within SD57. In 2017, a BC Government Factsheet found that over 25% of BC students identified as queer. Schools are a place of learning, and students need to feel safe to learn about themselves and express themselves without fear. Diversity is our strength and inclusion is how we ensure students feel safe. SD57 needs to do more to create safe spaces and support our marginalized students.
As a trustee, I believe in creating an inclusive and safe environment for all students. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) policies play a crucial role in ensuring that every student feels respected, accepted, and supported. These policies protect the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ students and promote equality and understanding within our schools and communities. I fully support the SOGI policies in place both at the district and provincial levels and will advocate for their continued implementation and improvement.
I would like to answer this question in two parts.
- A) SOGI is provincially mandated by the BC Ministry of Education. It is one element of diversity that is to be embedded into all grade curriculums. It is designed so that ALL students are represented in the course material they interact with. As such, my opinion on it is irrelevant and I MUST put my opinions aside if they interfere with my job as a Trustee.
- B) As this is a flashpoint at this time, I would like to lay out that from a personal perspective, EVERY child must find the school setting a safe and inclusive place to be. To paraphrase Ivan Coyote, “Everyone needs a safe place to pee.”
SOGI is undeniably the most divisive agenda in SD57! It and its effects on our children and our educators and just families in general within our community need to be talked about. I am all for providing a safe atmosphere for all children. Mental health needs attention! I will push harder on the anti-bullying campaign and more than anything, EQUALITY & RESPECT!
5. Why should someone vote for you?
My unique experiences and perspective offer a voice that the board may not have had the privilege of experiencing before. My ability to connect and engage with the public is something I am proud of. I simply want to use my platform to encourage the public to participate in this election. Taking action is the only way we will be able to achieve meaningful, progressive change and the community is where this action needs to come from. Making informed decisions can be a challenge and I want to support the ability to aid in spreading accurate information to my fullest extent.
My previous experience as a School Board Trustee will be an asset to the current Board mostly comprised of first-time Trustees. I have experience that gives me a strong knowledge of the role of Trustee in the school district and knows the difference between governance and operations.
I believe in fair, equitable and inclusive public education. I strongly believe we need to support the unique needs of every student. We also need to provide safe spaces for every student so they can succeed. I believe in positive change, collaboratively supporting students, teachers, staff, schools, partners, and communities.
My primary goal if elected is to ensure SD57 students, teachers and staff are always the priority. We need to reduce the gaps and challenges for every student by thoroughly examining SD57’s processes. This includes developing safe spaces of expression for students, staff, and faculty, as well as collaborating transparently with the broader public. Building off this point, the policies around supporting and retaining quality staff must be improved for the safety and success of the future of our children.
On June 17th, please vote SHAR MCCRORY for School District 57 Trustee.
When you cast your vote, you are choosing someone who has a deep passion for education and an unwavering commitment to student success. I have a proven ability to lead, collaborate, and think outside the box to achieve outstanding outcomes. With my extensive experience in education administration, I understand the complexities and challenges facing our schools. I will work tirelessly to bring the board together, support parents and guardians, and ensure effective communication with the community. By voting for me, you are choosing a dedicated advocate for your child’s education, their teachers, and their schools. Together, we can build a brighter future for all students in SD#57
I believe I bring a wealth of knowledge from a wide variety of areas. One of the parts I always try to bring to all my Board duties is my ability to view issues from a variety of perspectives. A vote for me is a vote for a progressive and forward-looking Board.
I will vote for Josh Silva on June 17th, because he will make sure all sides have representation!
I will vote for Josh Silva on June 17th, because he’s a God-fearing Patriot, a family man and a straight shooter that understands that silence is contributing to more violence!
I will vote for Josh Silva on June 17th, because he stands for basic human rights!
I will vote for Josh Silva on June 17th because he stands for our parental rights!
For more about me visit joshsilva.ca
Hit the chat button and let me know what you want to hear my views on.
Voters get a chance to meet the candidates face-to-face Thursday night (June 8) from 6:00 to 8:00 at Vanier Hall.
Advance voting begins today (Wednesday) at the School Board office from 8:00 – 8:00.
Advanced voting will also be held on Tuesday, June 13 at the same place and time.
On the general voting day (Saturday, June 17) polls will be from 8:00 – 8:00 at:
- Glenview Elementary
- Heritage Elementary
- Malaspina Elementary
- Pineview Elementary
- Van Bien Training Centre
— School District No. 57 (Prince George) (@SD57PG) May 18, 2023