There seems to be some more internal discussions brewing and questions surfacing as to why I am doing a Master’s in Public Health. Let me be pointed for a moment. I am doing this for only one purpose, to facilitate my growth as a Trustee and to enhance my ability to lead policy to positively affect student lives and student learning.
I believe that the public has entrusted me, hence the term Trustee, to make the best and most well-informed decisions on behalf of their children. As stated in my last blog, Health and Education are intricately woven. One does not happen effectively in the absence of the other. Also true, is that we don’t get to decide what issues place students at the greatest risk. Sometimes these matters are touchy from a theological stance, but they require attention none the less. I believe that some may prefer that I attend religious conferences that don’t lead to more controversial policy matters, but this is not why I believe the parents elected me or why legislation calls for us to oversee education.
We have many issues that continue to plague our students as sighted through the many different Canadian data banks and registries. Obesity rates continue to soar. STI infections are at alarming historical highs, anticipated gains in mental health outcomes have not occurred. These types of health-related concerns bare immediate attention and demand policy and program designs that are built on evidence to help support meaningful and targeted implementation that yield cost-effective and substantive impacts. The more I learn the better I can become at facilitating policy and leading lobby efforts to support our students.
In designing policy at the Board level, we need to probe and ask essential questions. For example, with more immigrants coming into the system, how do we best serve their needs. Many suffer from pre-existing conditions that have resulted in significant mental and physical trauma. These students may require unique and targeted services. How do we support and design cultural and gender specific programming? How do we best deliver these programs and to whom to ensure that we deliver strong outcomes that will have greater impacts for more students. We must assess that which is effective and in which context versus policies that don’t work. This is what I am seeking to understand and this is specifically why I am in the Masters of Public Health.
As for the cost, the rumblings that I am hearing over the use of Educational PD perplexes me. It certainly doesn’t offer the niceties that come with attending many conferences. Dollar for dollar, I stand solid in my sentiments on this position.
Rest assured, I am not looking for a career change. If I were, I certainly have sufficient experience and education stemming from my other university degree and other substantive university course work to facilitate employment opportunities. The fact is, I embarked on this to enhance my abilities as trustee and the fact that I am running for re-election is illustrative of this. Further, and significant, should I not be re-elected any tuition covered beyond that of the date of my term would be, without question, reimbursed for the full amount. FULL STOP!
” Corporate Boards are highly functional while Public Boards tend not to be. The nuance difference is in the level of expertise and knowledge board members come to the table with”. (McKillop, I., 2017) As an analogy, if our board had a financial expert, we would likely see a difference in the number and strength of financial policy being put forward. Knowing this, should we not demand expertise in our Boards? Perhaps…another discussion in need of contemplation.
ECSD PD policy link: