Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Candidate offers leadership

School District 57 trustee Kate Cooke prides herself on asking the tough questions -and that's why she's running for releection on Nov. 15. Cooke said she'd like to see more leadership and transparency from the board of trustees.
Kate Cooke

School District 57 trustee Kate Cooke prides herself on asking the tough questions -and that's why she's running for releection on Nov. 15.

Cooke said she'd like to see more leadership and transparency from the board of trustees.

"There was a recent report by the auditor general and it said that a lot of school boards have [given much of] their power to management," Cooke said. "I feel we've acted more as an extension of management than as independent leaders."

As a mother of two children in the district and wife of a teacher, she said she was first inspired to run as a result of the school closures in the district in 2010.

Cooke said she has called for, and will continue to advocate, for the district to prepare a "restoration budget" as well as a balanced budget every year. The restoration budget would illustrate the level of funding needed to maintain services at an acceptable level, she said, so both the Ministry of Education and the public is aware of how much shortfall there is between government funding and local needs.

"Trustees have a lot of power locally, but we don't have a lot of power provincially" to effect funding levels, she added.

Cooke said she is also an advocate for greater site-based management to allow school administrators flexibility to decide where their needs are.

Engaging with parents and other partner groups is also key for the board, she said.

"I'm listening to parent groups," Cooke said. "We need to have more relationships with our employees and partner groups."

She said she would also like to see a greater degree of accountability and reporting on new district initiatives to ensure they are meeting the objectives they set out to.

Without reporting, the board has to just "hope they are working," she said.

The board should also operate with greater transparency, Cooke said. She would fight to reduce the number of in-camera meetings.

"I keep on asking tough questions and trying to make a difference."




Comments