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Four school trustee candidates see challenging times ahead

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Gonzalez said her work experience would stand her in good stead as a school trustee if she is elected.

Before becoming a self-employed accountant she was the senior accountant at the Whistler Health Care Centre.

"Accounting for a non-profit organization, especially government funded, is quite different from business accounting," she said.

"And so I have an understanding of how that works and how the generally accepted accounting principles can be applied in a non-profit government funded situation."

Prior to the past four years in which she has been bound by time constraints, Gonzalez was involved in community events and did a lot of fundraising and silent auctions. She also served on the board of the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment and the Whistler Children’s Centre.

Rounding out the four candidates running for school board trustee is Richard Wyne.

He decided to run a few months ago after reading a newspaper article about the relatively high numbers of kids in school who do not meet standards for reading, writing and mathematical skills.

The statistics were not related to Whistler or the Howe Sound School District specifically but Wyne still found them very disturbing.

"In some areas our kids are to the provincial standard and in some areas they are not. And that was the thing that was the catalyst for me," he said.

"The only way that I think I can be a part of the development and implementation of good things in the education system would be for me to be on the trustee board."

Wyne is concerned about the quality of education that is available to all Whistler residents.

"If you want a French education then you should have a French education available to you. Right now it’s only kids that have French surnames who can get a French education even though we are a bilingual country."

The school boundary issue is another cause for concern for Wyne.

Only those kids within walking distance of Myrtle Philip and living north of the school should be allowed to go there, he said.

"I think that we have too much vehicle traffic in this community as it is to support the infrastructure of the roads. We certainly don’t need to be putting more cars on the road."

On a larger scale within the district, Wyne says the Liberal government has shaken things up in the education system.

"We definitely see a Liberal government that is concerned with one thing and that is the dollar, the bottom line."