Employment specialist seeks trustee seat

Christine Petkau is running for school trustee because she wants to help bridge the gap between education and employment.

Christine Petkau is running for school trustee because she wants to help bridge the gap between education and employment.

Petkau, an employment specialist based in Summerland, is seeking one of two Summerland seats on Okanagan Skaha district 67 school board in the Nov. 19 Summerland municipal election.

As the mother of two children, ages 20 and 15, she has been an active volunteer in three Summerland schools over the past nine years, serving as a school planning council member and parent advisory council member at both Summerland middle school and Summerland secondary school and a volunteer reader at Giant’s Head elementary school.

She has worked in employment services for 13 years and said her background will contribute a unique and necessary voice at the school board level.

“Parents and students need to know that in the next 10 years, 78 per cent of available jobs in British Columbia will require post secondary training — either completed trade tickets, a community college diploma or a university degree,” said Petkau.

“I am running for school trustee because I believe that we need to create a bridge for our students between the world of school and the world of work.  Students need to stay in school to acquire essential skills and to access advanced learning opportunities that will help them succeed in the 21st century.

“This message is not just for high school students.  We can’t wait until Grade 11 or 12 to answer that old question ‘Why do I have to learn this stuff?’

Delivering this message begins in elementary school and the message is for every student in our district and in our province.”

Petkau supports:

o Teaching that continually relates what is being learned at school to the world outside of school.

o Enhanced community partnerships that give young people exposure to trades and professions.

o Early and comprehensive identification of special needs so children get the support they need for success as early as possible.

o Increased opportunities for meaningful connections between teachers, staff and students.

o Opportunities for personalized learning and accelerated learning.

Petkau moved to Summerland with her family in 2002.

She graduated from the University of Winnipeg and has a degree in sociology.

She is currently acquiring credentials as a career development professional.

Petkau outlines her platform in greater detail and provides links to current research at her website:  www.petkau4schools.ca.