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Get to know your Burnaby school board candidates: Larry Hayes

'I want to continue being part of helping today’s learners have as positive an experience in Burnaby’s schools as I did.'
Incumbent Larry Hayes (Burnaby Citizens Association) is running for reelection to school board this October.

Name and pronouns?

Larry Hayes (he/him)

Tell us about yourself: (max. 100 words)

Burnaby has been home for all of my life. I am a graduate of Burnaby’s amazing public school system at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. I’ve spent over 40 years in volunteer work, public service and community activism in youth sports, the social services, and our public education system, where I’ve enjoyed six terms as your elected school trustee. For my community work, I was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in sports, I’ve been recognized as an Honoured Member of the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame and Life Member of the Burnaby Minor Hockey Association.

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

I want to continue being part of helping today’s learners have as positive an experience in Burnaby’s schools as I did. Serving six terms as a trustee, including as board chair, my experience is important as we work through the challenges facing public education in the years to come.

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

The current school board has been able to grow learning opportunities despite challenges.  They continue to value consultative communication with all stakeholders. Greater parent and student involvement is valuable in taking even greater advantage of the thoughts and experiences of these important partners.

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

The ongoing issues that face the Burnaby school board are ensuring effective fiscal management, which includes cost savings through state-of-the-art energy efficiencies, being on the leading-edge in providing all learners with challenging course options and in continuing to guarantee an inclusive and safe environment for all students and staff.

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

With trustee oversight, effective fiscal management can be maintained by ensuring that adequate resources are directed to students and the classroom through the annual budget process. This includes advocating for resources in constructing and retrofitting energy efficient buildings.

By listening to educators and students, trustees can explore educational programs that create a challenging and rich learning environment that can help to prepare students for their lives after their Grade 12 graduation, while still focusing on important fundamental skills. 

Having a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for students and staff is of utmost importance and should be a foundation of everyday school life. This needs to include curriculum that recognizes the important contributions made by all. 

Reconciliation with our Indigenous people, acknowledging the challenges faced by our BIPOC community and the importance of our SOGI curriculum is needed at school in order for positive change to take place in our society

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)

A return to Grade 7 at Armstrong Avenue Elementary with my favourite teacher, Norm Shuto.  He made me appreciate the influence good teachers can make.

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

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