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Get to know your Burnaby school board candidates: Kristin Schnider

'I’m running for trustee because I want to advocate for progressive policies that value diversity and inclusion and support unique community needs in Burnaby.'
Kristin Schnider (Burnaby Citizens Association) is running for Burnaby school board this October.

Name and pronouns?

Kristin Schnider (she/her)

Tell us about yourself: (max. 100 words)

I grew up in Maple Ridge and made Burnaby my home nearly 20 years ago after I completed my political science degree at UVic.

For the latter ten years, I have been an active Burnaby school district parent, holding various PAC and DPAC executive positions including two terms as Burnaby DPAC chair.

My passion for public education comes from my parents, who are both retired SD42 teachers. They taught me to advocate for accessible, properly funded public education where students, staff and families thrive. Working for the PSAC, I’ve also garnered a staunch belief in progressive values that serve community.

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

It’s a critical time to invest time, energy and resources in public education and I have the skills and experience to champion this work in Burnaby. I’m running for trustee because I want to advocate for progressive policies that value diversity and inclusion and support unique community needs in Burnaby.

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

Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, the current board has a lot to be proud of. One area is their sustainability strategic plan, which empowers the community to learn and act together for the strength of the planet and enshrining Indigenous knowledge as the foundation for this work.

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

I believe the top three issues are:

  • Enrolment capacity issues that will worsen with the projected growth in Burnaby
  • The continued need for quality childcare spaces in and near schools in Burnaby
  • Actioning the findings of the anti-racism engagement process already underway in the Burnaby school district.

How do you plan to address those issues? (max. 150 words)

Burnaby is growing. Families need Trustees who have a forward-looking lens, who will actively engage and work with all levels of government to ensure the needs of Burnaby are met in the classroom and in the community.

Those needs include accessible childcare and school capacity not just for today but the years to come. I will leverage the existing relationships the BCA has with the provincial government and Burnaby’s municipal government so we can work collaboratively to secure resources and funding needed for these two areas.

The third issue, supporting anti-racism in schools, requires a very different approach. I’ve had the opportunity to engage in a lot of self-reflection and recognize the need to unlearn what I know about racism.

Now is the time to listen to the lived experiences of BIPOC staff, students and families, which will guide the systemic changes that will benefit everyone in the district.

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)

I’d want to revisit Mrs. Wilkie’s grade 4 class at Laityview where I gained the confidence to use my voice for what I believe in.

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

Twitter @kristinschnider








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