After a long career in public education, Doug McPhee is hoping to return to his former career in a different format, as he is running for School District Trustee in the upcoming election.
McPhee began his career as a teacher in 1982 in Kaslo and retired as Dean of Instruction for the Southeast Kootenay School District in 2014. Now, he’s hoping to serve as trustee to help repair the relationship between teachers and the administration following the recent labour strife.
“The process had a negative effect on all stakeholders,” said McPhee. “Rebuilding trust and confidence requires that everyone refocus their attention on the value afforded to students in SD5.”
McPhee recalls the start of his teaching career at a community school in Kaslo, and how that experience taught him the life lessons of responsibilities that sometimes extended beyond the classroom, such as doing parent-teacher interviews in the aisle of a grocery store.
“My goal as trustee for SD5 will be to ensure that funds are fairly allocated to support the learning needs of all students, rebuilding trust in public education with, and within, all stakeholder groups in formal meetings or while buying groceries,” added McPhee.
Another top priority includes ensuring that schools are getting their fair share of funding, as money comes from a variety of sources with different mandates.
“Funding is generated by need and should be used to support those students, those schools, that community,” said McPhee. “As trends develop that outstretch our ability to adequately support student learning, it will be the responsibility of the board and my responsibility as a trustee to lobby the Ministry for additional funding.”
McPhee moved back to Cranbrook in 1987, teaching at Parkland Middle School before moving to administration in 1990. He topped out as Dean of Instruction with SD5, where he worked with all schools in the district to support students at risk, developed alternate education priorities, provided restorative justice, supported aboriginal learners, provided distance education opportunities and developed policy supporting student and staff safety.