This interview is with Pat Cochrane who will be running for election as the Public School Trustee in Ward 8 & 9 this term.
Why are you running for the position of school board trustee?
I believe in the power of public education and the power of democracy. I believe that this is a time of major change for publicly funded education in this city and our province and I would like to be a part of that change. I have experience and the ability to innovate. I have many connections in the Calgary community which can help bring the right voices to the table to foster positive changes.
Can you share some of your past volunteer, political and/or Board of Directors experience?
Calgary Board of Education Trustee, Wards 8 & 9 for 11 years, Chair of the Board of Trustees for 8 of those years. Chair of the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area and in-school mentor. Board member, Child and Family Services Authority of Calgary and Area. Board member, Sage Theatre Society. Board member, EducationMatters, Calgary's Public Education Trust. Member of Governors for Children. Volunteer with the Samaritan Club of Calgary. Volunteer with Downstage Theatre.
What is your future vision of the education system in Calgary?
A future where all of our students complete high school with the skills they need to be successful in the next steps they take. Each student will understand their gifts, strengths and abilities and will take their place in our world and make a difference.
What do you think the future of School Boards are in Alberta. What changes would you make to the school board trustee model?
I think we need to have this conversation as a community - are school boards working? It is a model that has been successful for a hundred years in Calgary but school boards are based on geography. With online learning so readily available, does a geographic school board entity make sense? I believe it is important to have local decision making in regard to public education - the form that decision making takes may need to change.
If you could implement one radical idea to improve the school system, what would it be?
Flexible learning times and places. All learning does not need to take place in a designated school building and it does not need to take place within traditional school hours.
Pat's website is at http://patcochrane.com/