David Pollard: COVID, curriculum top minister’s reasons for running for public schools trustee

·2 min read

Rev. David Pollard is seeking election for the Medicine Hat Public School Division’s board of trustees.

Pollard is the lead minister at Fifth Avenue Memorial United Church and has resided in Medicine Hat for the past six years. He and his partner of almost 20 years have two children in MHPSD, whom he feels keep him connected to the issues facing students, parents and educators in the city’s public school system.

Pollard has a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from the University of Alberta, and Masters of Divinity from St. Andrew’s College at the University of Saskatchewan. He is actively involved in the community, both as a result of his work and as a pastime. He is passionate about equality, connecting with underrepresented groups and giving back through acts of service. This, he feels, has provided him a unique perspective he can bring to the board.

If elected, he would like to address several initial concerns, including COVID-19 protocols and the province of Alberta’s draft curriculum.

“I am very concerned about the draft curriculum. I think trustees, parents, students and the community needs to advocate for better options,” he said. “I think curriculum needs to inspire children to become life-long learners and get them excited about learning the subject matter they have at hand.”

These are some of Pollard’s main concerns, but he recognizes there are myriad issues trustees must be aware of.

“There are so many things that a trustee needs to be concerned about, from good labour relations with the ATA, curriculum implementation, facilities management, busing, disciplinary policies, district staff as well as school staff, administrative support, professional support and development for teachers.”

With his background in board governance and experience working with individuals from all walks of life, Pollard feels he is the right candidate for the position of trustee.

“I will listen to our school superintendent. I will listen to the other trustees elected to form good working relationship so that we can enact policy and solve problems effectively for the good of our students.

“In my work I am hard-wired to listen. Being a minister, you council folks, you listen to them, you hear them and help them solve problems. I do that every day and I would be honoured and privileged to do it on behalf of our teachers, students and parents.”

KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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