Marilyn Sullivan is running for election as a school trustee in the upcoming local government election. CONCEPT PHOTOGRAPHY

Trustee candidate wants students to have equal opportunities

Marilyn Sullivan is running for Nanaimo Ladysmith school trustee

The local autism society founder and a former PTA president wants to see a school district with more learning opportunities for all students.

Marilyn Sullivan is running for election as a school trustee in the upcoming local government election.

Sullivan has seven grandchildren in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools and wants to make sure the education system works for kids who excel and for kids who need extra attention.

“I think what we need to do is focus and look at what is best for all of the children in the school district…” she said. “I think trustees need to look at the district as a whole and be accountable for the decisions being made not only by the board, but the administration as well.”

Sullivan said she didn’t wish to criticize decisions that were made the past few years, but suggested facilities decisions have created some imbalances.

The founder and chairwoman of the Autism Society Central Vancouver Island also said she sees some deficiencies in education for special-needs students and would like to have that conversation around the school board table.

“One thing I think is really important is we need to examine and assess the current model of delivery of education for students with special needs,” she said.

The former president of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce has experience in boardrooms and has seen that when more information is available, better decisions get made.

“You need to work as a team, but everyone needs to have their own opinion. All opinions and suggestions need to be looked at and listened to before final decisions are made,” she said, adding that she’ll be willing to make hard decisions “if the facts are there and it can be proven as a positive change.”

Rising enrolment is creating some challenges, Sullivan suggested, but also opportunity.

“There can be a positive vision moving forward,” she said.

To read interviews with other local government election candidates, click here.

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