1. I’m Crista Ross and I hail from the rural setting of Shelburne, Ontario. From high school, I pursued my dreams of becoming a teacher and entered the profession at the early age of 21. It is then that I began my career teaching in various rural, Indigenous communities.
From 2008 to 2019 I taught grades 2 through 7, specializing in student support systems and child life coaching services. I also served two terms as board member for a not-for-profit child development agency. In 2019 I moved to Cache Creek to raise my family and open Learning Tree Childcare. I am a community leader, parent, teacher, and entrepreneur in child development, advocating for equal opportunity so all students can reach maximum potential.
2. As a community stakeholder I see some barriers in Area “D”, one being transportation for all children within the catchment area. The current restrictions can be difficult for caregivers who don’t have use of personal transport. Equitable access and opportunity is important to Cache Creek residents.
In-town residents should be afforded the opportunity of safe transportation for their child(ren) to attend school. Working to narrow gaps or eliminate this barrier could also improve accessibility to before and after school programming. Community surveys to assess need, along with careful consideration of policies, budgets, and resources, would be important steps moving forward.
3. Since I moved here in 2019, it appears that key roles, like administration and classroom teachers, become routinely vacant and sometimes not adequately filled in SD74. As outlined in the strategic plan for SD74, staff recruitment and retention is a strategic goal. I believe I can provide critical insight and suggestions, having been a teacher in multiple rural school settings.
I believe a key step would be reflection: are we offering desirable employment and experiences? Do we have ways to gauge employment experiences and desirability? Reflecting informs practice, a process critical for improvement.
4. As a community member, mother of two, teacher, and entrepreneur in child development, I bring a balanced perspective to the table. I plan to advocate for the local community and be a safe place for invested families to confide and trust in. With my extensive working knowledge of classroom teaching and relationships within the community, I believe I can act as an ally for both students and teachers, ensuring decisions are in the best interests of our most valued.