Brzovic seeking re-election to school board

Tania Brzovic

I take the opportunity to formally announce my candidacy for a second term as a school trustee in the October 20 municipal election.
During my first term, I have been a strong advocate for public education. Over the past four years I’ve worked diligently to make decisions that put the needs of children first, whether it be opposing the closure of Rutherford Elementary school, speaking out against cuts to CUPE positions, or calling for an increase in student support teachers.
As I reflect on the past term, I take pride in the District’s work in the area of social justice. As an active member of the Safe Schools Advisory Committee, I am particularly proud of our Inclusion Policy, which actively challenges racism, homophobia, and transphobia, and is highly regarded throughout the province.
I am also honoured to be part of a Board that has embraced Reconciliation as one of our key strategic goals.  We have also invested both time and financial resources into an equity scan to further our understanding of challenges facing our Aboriginal students.
I strongly believe that we must support neighborhood schools and community schools. Our community school coordinators are a vital link to programs which provide important resources to our children and families. I have seen this first hand as a volunteer at one of our local schools in their breakfast and lunch program.
The partnership between FoodShare and the School District is only one example of the amazing work that is happening.
A strong voice will be especially important in the next four years. The new Board will face challenges. We will be entering the collective bargaining process for both our teachers and our support staff.
I remain committed to growing the public’s confidence in District decisions by continuing to advocate for meaningful consultation with partners and encouraging effective, appropriate oversight of management. A review of our facilities plan must be completed so that we can come up with strategies to address the growth in various parts of the District, particularly the north end. We must ensure that we have adequate resources for special needs students so that all children receive the education they deserve.
We need to continue our work to create welcoming, inclusive and safe schools. With my experience as a trustee, coupled with my personal background, I believe that I can make a significant contribution to the work of the Board.
From the News Bulletin

A Nanaimo trustee hopes to be re-elected to bring some continuity to what could be a di erent sort of term for the next school board.

Tania Brzovic announced this week that she will be seeking a second term on the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools board of education.

She agreed that the landscape in the district has changed from what it was four years ago, with new possibilities for capital projects and education spending.

“We’ve been scally responsible and I’ve not always necessarily agreed with how we’ve gotten to some of those decisions, but I certainly like where we’re at with our budget,” she said.

Brzovic said the next school board will need to look at population growth areas, including along the Hammond Bay corridor and in Lantzville, and make “wise decisions” when it updates its facilities plan.

“It needs to be a really good process that’s really engaging of the community, one where people can feel good about the decisions we’ve made and feel that they’re really being heard and that the decisions are clear and make sense to people,” she said.

Brzovic, in a blog post, said she’s proud of the board’s work on social justice and embracing First Nations reconciliation. She told the News Bulletin she would like to see better supports for special-needs students and suggested that could involve both reallocating resources and advocacy work and communication with the Ministry of Education.

She said trustees need to understand but not try to manage day-to-day school district operations, and instead make a di erence through developing policies. She’s had a lifelong interest in policy development and governance, she said, which helped her with her learning curve in her rst term as trustee. Running for a second term demonstrates her commitment, she said.

“One of the things that I’ve found in our district that we’ve struggled with is a group comes in, makes a bunch of decisions, a new group comes in and throws those decisions out,” Brzovic said. “And that lack of consistency can be a problem.”

As one member of the school board, she said she’s supported the will of the board, but has been open to talking to people about the di cult choices the board has had to make.

“It is hard, certainly to learn to sort of toughen your skin and realize that you aren’t going to satisfy everybody with every decision you make,” she said. “You just have to try to make the best decision you can with the best information you can get.”