Chief Chipps looking to build on progress with SD62

Scia’new First Nations Principal Russ Chipps, upon being elected SD62 Trustee, is excited to build on the years of progress the Sooke School District has made to improve the lives of all students.

Chips won the SD62 Belmont district election with 6,112 votes. He has been eyeing a school board seat for more than a decade, first working with different committees and once running for trusteeship in 2018.

“I know I’m an Aboriginal chief. But when I sit at the table, I have the kids as my focus. When I sit and talk, I don’t identify as a nation or a race. I understand that growing up in a school district is not Difficult for me. I’ve noticed a 360 shift recently and it’s because of the work we’ve been doing. It’s collaborative and inclusive, and I just love using it. School district, I think it’s the best school district .”

Returning board chair Ravi Parmar (8,729) will be joined by other newcomers: Aboriginal author Trudy Spiller (6,247), former Sooke School District Parent Advisory Council chair Cendra Beaton (4,830 votes). From Milne’s Landing District, incumbent Allison Watson (2,274) wins re-election. She will also be joined by Amanda Dowhy (2,190) and former Sooke councillor Ebony Logins (2,105).

Chipps said he would like to see graduation rates for Indigenous students rise after stagnating over the past few years. Chipps also said the district needs more schools, and he will continue to work on making the district more inclusive, which he said has come a long way in recent years.

“How can you put care in a jar and pass it on to the next person? You can’t do that – now people just care more about each other, looking at each other face to face, eye to eye, equal, and that’s what the region is doing. Things that happened.”

Parmar said in a previous interview that the new board has “a rich and varied life experience that will make for an incredible board for the community.”

“School districts just got better. We’re not perfect, and I don’t know if any district will ever be. There will always be some mistakes,” Chips said. “But everyone is trying to work together now. It just doesn’t seem to be the same.”

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SD62 West Bank

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