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Get to know your Burnaby school board candidates: Jeff Courson

'I’m running for school board to give back to the community I care about in a meaningful way.'
Jeff Courson (Burnaby Green Party) is running for Burnaby school board this October.

Name and pronouns?

Jeff Courson

Tell us about yourself: (max. 100 words)

I grew up in Burnaby and attended elementary schools and high school here. I had to leave for a while, attending university in Quebec studying political science and international relations.  I learned French fairly well while there. 

I spent nearly 12 years in the Canadian Forces serving about eight years in the army and almost four in the Navy. During my service, I got very good at processing complex information in order to help make important decisions, and dealt with both internal and external stakeholders to make sure objectives were achieved.

I studied law at UBC and have been practicing …  

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Why are you running for school board? (max. 50 words)

I’m running for school board to give back to the community I care about in a meaningful way – I feel that that how are schools are run is a very important task and that as a Metis, veteran, lawyer, and parent, that I can provide valuable contributions to the school …

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What do you think the current school board has done well? Where has it missed the mark? (max. 50 words)

I think that the school board is working well and doing what it needs to do.  I feel that it needs some fresh minds and fresh insights to help with both current challenges, and those it will face in the future.

What are the top three issues facing the next school board? (max. 50 words)

I think that safety, including inclusiveness, reconciliation, and student harassment/bullying are major issues facing our children in schools.  Also, ensuring resources for our teachers and staff to properly support students so they can all reach their best results is an issue. 

How do you plan to address those issues? (max. 150 words)By working with the other board members, city council, the province and other organizations, we can explore solutions to the challenges our schools, teachers, and children are facing. 

We can continue building on the changes that have happened over the past decade.  Additionally, we could explore the creation of additional volunteer committees which may be set up to help on specific issues; we can explore better public-private partnerships, advocate for and seek out additional support from the provincial government, additional feedback and ideas from the community, and deepen the engagement of individual parent advisory committees. 

The potential solutions to issues we face will be found in the creativity, hard work, and ability of our community, including the Trustees, to work together to make the best decisions possible.

And just for fun: If you got to spend one full day in school again, what grade would you return to and why? (max. 25 words)

Grade 10 was by far, my favourite year.  I suspect this had a lot to do with having a tougher home-life which became increasingly unbearable …

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Where can voters find out more about you? (e.g. social media, website)

I have a public facebook account, but I do value my family’s and my own personal privacy and, as such, I rarely post personal things online.   I have an Instagram but do not utilize that very much, and the same goes for Twitter.

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