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New kids on the board

Where city council saw only two new faces this election Chak Au and Linda McPhail almost half of the Richmond school board looks different today than it did a week ago.

Where city council saw only two new faces this election Chak Au and Linda McPhail almost half of the Richmond school board looks different today than it did a week ago.

This underscores the citys appetite for change, said newly elected trustee, Kenny Chiu.

Particularly, Eric (Yung) and I are the only ones with kids in the elementary school system, so I think we can present an interesting perspective of what elementary schools today need.

Richmond Firsts Yung, and RITEs Chiu and Norm Goldstein were the three green trustees.

Incumbents Donna Sargent, Grace Tsang, Debbie Tablotney and Rod Belleza round out the other four members.

Looking ahead, Goldstein plans to push for an increase in the diversity of programming for students.

There needs to be more variety that can appeal to different students, said Goldstein, who headed the Incentive Program at MacNeill secondary.

These should include choice programs, where they can have things theyre interested in. I think the board is particularly lacking in programs for gifted students.

Both Goldstein and Chiu said they will look at ways to increase funding from governments to implement such programming, as well as find new funding sources to draw from.

I want to look at how the board operates and its relationships with the various stakeholders so that we can form a working relationship and put some plans into action, said Chiu.

At the same time, Yung wants to see more involvement from parents and encourages the board to engage this influential group.

When it comes to policy and funding, governments weigh heavily the opinions of parents.

Parents are the most listened to group, but are the least engaged, Yung said.

Its always a challenge to get parents involved in their childrens education, added Chiu.

In particular, Chiu hopes to involved recently immigrated families, adding that he sees approximately 80-100 kids of new immigrants pass through Richmond school doors on a monthly basis.

How do we cross the cultural divide? said Chiu. How do we make parents aware that they can influence decisions? Communication is the key point and I want to communicate with the parents and get them to volunteer more.

Goldstein expanded Yung and Chius idea of increased engagement with the public at large, whether a parent or not.

He said increased visibility and awareness about the happenings of the board help voters know what the candidates stand for.

School trustees are relevant to everyone, according to Goldstein.

Im not sure yet how to implement this, he said, considering the board already opens meetings to the public and posts minutes online.

But the greater public just doesnt seem as engaged and there are selective issues relevant for everybody.

In general, everything that goes on here is important as the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

Full result


Donna Sargent: (Richmond First) 18,380;

Grace Tsang: (Richmond First) 16,580;

Debbie Tablotney: (Richmond First) 16,367;

Eric Yung: (Richmond First) 14,120;

Rod Belleza: (RITE) 13,630;

Kenny Chiu: (RITE) 12,929;

Norm Goldstein: (RITE) 12,784;


Michael Starchuck: (RITE) 12,263;

Jonathan Ho: (RITE) 12,087;

William Kang Chen: 8,553.