School Board Trustee incumbent, Shannon Hood, is hoping to continue serving Golden for the next three years.
“I am running again for a number of reasons. I really enjoy the position,” said Hood, who has two children in the Golden school system. According to Hood, she is only one of two current board members (out of nine), who have children attending school in the district.
“I’m very familiar with all sides of the school system out here. Having your kids in the school system gives you perspective as a parent, because you see what comes home, what is missing, you see the forms that come home, and you have a different opinion on them,” said Hood. “Having your kids in the school system, plus having a teacher in the family (Hood’s husband), it makes a huge difference.”
The main priority for Hood, and the school board in general, is to ensure all students in the district receive the highest quality education possible. But there are certain challenges facing the board.
“Since 1998 our district has lost about 462 students – this is a decline of about 35 per cent,” she said. “With declining enrolment, I expect our district will have to work through some tough challenges, such as providing high school students with a wide variety of courses, and providing programs with smaller budgets. There are going to be many tough decisions to make, and I would like to help make them.”
Hood is very positive about the district’s future, however, and has several ideas for concepts and programs that she would like to see implemented, improved and supported.
“I want to look at more learning empowered by technology helping parents engage in what, when and how their child learns, as well as using social media or web pages to enhance the communication between teachers, students and parents.”
In the past three years, Hood has seen initiatives pass, which she believes has improved the students’ educational experience.
“We’ve passed a lot of the Board Authority Authorized (BAA) courses. They are student/teacher driven courses that are specific to our district. For example, the photography course at the high school is a BAA course.”
These courses are created by the students and the teachers here, based on what the students want to learn. Several have been offered in Golden, including Fire Fighting, Leadership, Yearbook and French Cooking.
“They’re sort of electives, but they’re not offered in other districts, they’re created here.”
In the past three years, Hood has also seen the district hire an energy manager, saving the district thousands of dollars through energy efficient changes to the schools and buildings, and balance the budget.
“During the past three years I have learned so much about our district, people, policies, procedures, negotiations, and politics at a provincial level. It’s a pleasure and an honour to be a part of the Rocky Mountain District, and I’m really glad to have been able to be a part of everything that has occurred the last three years.”