A School Trustee You Can Trust

Published: September 9th 2010
in News » Local

Thornhill School Board Trustee candidate Simon Strelchik

Longtime Thornhill resident Simon Strelchik is running for School Board Trustee for Wards 4 and 5 (Area 2) because he believes that every young person should have an equal opportunity to succeed in a safe and secure learning environment.


"I would be a voice that speaks to the interests of parents,” Strelchik told Shalom Life. “I would be a good conduit between parents and the school board when it comes to finding out information about what's going on in schools and conveying board policy."


It is this commitment to the young generation that has driven him to focus on combating bullying in schools, a trend that he sees as a real problem for kids growing up these days.


"I support more bullying prevention with additional teacher training,” he said. “It hasn't been addressed adequately in the past and some schools in particular have problems regarding bullying.”


If elected, Strelchik would form teacher-led anti-bullying student groups in schools in order to give guidance to young people as well as to act as resources for students and parents to learn about anti-bullying measures. He would also work with schools to ensure adequate community monitoring during lunch breaks, including parent volunteers.


Strelchik ran as the Thornhill candidate for the NPD in the 2008 federal election and has been active in promoting Labour Zionism.


For him, the key to tackling issues like bullying, racism and inclusion is to provide a total commitment to equal opportunity and safe spaces for all young people in Thornhill.


Inclusion of special ed students in the classroom is a big issue that needs to be addressed, he said. “What we need is more funding to help more students be included in the classroom, that includes more resources and more support for students.”


He added that he will be an advocate on behalf of parents to the province in order to press for an increase in special needs funding. The York Region District School Board needs to take a clear stance for additional funding, he said.


“I also believe in using our resources properly, resources we do have. We need to ensure that programs are effective in reaching their goals.”


Strelchik will also work to introduce community advisors to assist newcomers, as well as fight for a proper allocation of funding for ESL, adult classes and heritage and language programs.


“It is essential that each and every student is enabled to achieve success,” he said.


He noted that students need more help transitioning between grade school and high school and high school and post-secondary school or the job market.


“Often the curriculum overlaps or is not transitionary enough,” he said. “We need more coordination at the board level. We need to ensure that schools are oriented toward knowledge for post-secondary education and toward knowledge for the workplace.”


If elected, Strelchik will fight to bring schools into the 21st Century in terms of building repairs and green retrofits so that children can learn in the best possible environments.


According to the candidate, educators and students need a safe and clean environment to learn and teach. If elected, he will support programs that promote energy conservation, waste minimization and community clean-up initiatives.


Strelchik believes that the Area 2 school board trustee needs to win back the people’s trust by being accountable to all stakeholders in order to implement effective policies that will improve the public school system for all students and parents.


He will be in regular communication with parents in terms of updates and responding to calls and online inquiries. He will also speak and attend events at public schools in Thornhill and take part in school activities.


“My pledge is to consistently work in consultation with my constituents,” he said. "I'm running to reform the education system to deal with 21st century problems. I want to improve the school system for Thornhill families."

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