Dixon to head provincial trustees’ mental health working group

The Independents Working For You school board candidate team of Laura Dixon, Nick Kanakos and Joe Muego and committing to putting student success at the forefront of their work.

As experienced trustees and parent leaders, they have deep connections to public education in Delta and experience in working directly with the province, parents, staff and students. Their commitment to student success recognizes that student and staff wellness are the foundation to continuously improving outcomes.

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Dixon, the current school board chair, has been a 10-year advocate for student connectedness and student mental wellness in Delta and across the province. She was recently appointed to chair the BC School Trustees Association’s new mental health working group to work alongside the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

“The appointment is an honour and I appreciate having access to some of the top experts and decision makers to get the most current information and opportunities in front of the Delta School District as quickly as possible,” said Dixon in a news release.

She added that there needs to be an expanded focus on staff wellness.

“It all begins with the people we entrust our children to every day and we must ensure that the district and school culture is every bit as much about their ability to be well so that they can form those all-important positive connections with our children.”

As district parent advisory council chair, Muego works closely with parents across the district and recognizes how important a sense of caring and belonging for their children is to have success in school.

“We spend considerable time talking with district leadership about our concerns about equipping our children with skills and resources that may help reduce the incidence and severity of stress, anxiety and depression,” he said. “Specifically, as parent advocates we have asked for provision of sensory rooms in elementary schools, outdoor learning opportunities and in class time spent developing positive mental health approaches.”

As the Delta district youth advisory council trustee liaison, Kanakos has seen first-hand how students in each school can be powerful advocates to the board.

“Student voice is essential in ensuring we are getting the right resources in place to keep students on track,” adds Kanakos. “We commit to ensuring students see real action that works best in their particular school setting, whether that is peer counselling, specific space for quiet supported study or innovative board authorized courses.”

Independents Working For You school board candidates will be bringing forward additional components of their commitments to place student success first in the areas of student and staff wellness, advocacy and fiscal responsibility.

The three school board candidates are running together with Mayoralty candidate Jim Cessford and council candidates Jeannie Kanakos, Bruce McDonald, Sandeep Pandher and Garry Shearer.

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