Patricia Whalen is honoured to represent her community on issues concerning education and school governance. She became a Trustee with the intention of making a difference for all children and making sure every future counts and is eager to continue that work for all School District 5 community members during her second term as Trustee.
Throughout her first term as a Trustee, she’s been encouraged and supported by her husband, her four children (two of whom are still attending school in SD5) … and of course, by the people who she represents on the Board. She is a strong advocate of public education because she firmly believes that education can and should provide every child with equal opportunity to reach their potential regardless of personal circumstances.
In seeking re-election to the School Board, Whalen will turn her attention as a Trustee to safe and inclusive schools, strengthening home and school partnerships, bullying prevention, services for students with special needs, and strong sports programs. She wants to work with parents, educators, administration, community leaders, volunteers, and the new team of Trustees to increase student success. Whalen understands that as we struggle with declining enrollment in some schools, aging schools, limited resources and ever changing technology, just to name a few, we can never forget our citizens expect the best value and return for their hard earned educational tax dollars.
Whalen’s years of experience with, and passion for, the Cranbrook community are illustrated in every challenge she undertakes. Whalen has long been known for her compelling advocacy in her role as an Early Years Community Developer for Children First; a regional role that supports and promotes the healthy growth and development of young children using a community development approach. In this role, Whalen has come to learn all too well that quality education is vital for all children. It is important to develop the whole child, not just their mind but their spirit as well; Whalen feels our education system can accomplish this task with the continued input from all stakeholders. One of the achievements Whalen is most proud of, was her role in collaborating with community and provincial partners to fundraise over 1 million dollars to help develop the Kootenay Child Development Centre located in downtown Cranbrook.
Education is a community endeavor and Whalen is passionate about bringing people together, listening to diverse perspectives and working with others to make our education system the best it can be. “I’ve always gone on the premise that establishing a respectful, caring, professional climate throughout the District is essential to creating collaborative relationships inside the Board and across the community.” Whalen has played her part as a Trustee by serving on a number of School District and local committees. Namely, SD5 Student Services, SD5 Finance/Operations/Personnel, SD5 Advocacy, the City’s Cranbrook in Motion committee, the Cranbrook Poverty Reduction Initiative committee and Safe Communities Cranbrook committee. Whalen firmly believes that good governance and strategic leadership from the Board is key to providing and maintaining a positive environment for the school communities. It is this belief that motivated her to work with staff and fellow Trustees to develop the Board’s first Strategic Plan which enabled the Board to create a Vision for the District that will aid in ensuring a strong public education system for our students.
“I am a proud, passionate, enthusiastic and active parent and professional of the Cranbrook community and appreciate the value of education not only for the future of our children but for society. “If you want to effect change you must be at the table where the decisions are made. I continue to feel privileged to be at the table to serve all those who benefit from the decisions made. I look forward to continuing to serve as a reasonable, reliable, trustworthy, and friendly School Trustee” comments Whalen.
You can connect with Trustee Candidate Whalen on Facebook at “Patricia Whalen School District 5 Trustee.”