Chris Johnston is a candidate for the public school board

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Chris Johnston will run for the position of administrator of the Grande Prairie Public School Division (GPPSD) in the upcoming municipal election.

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Johnston, who works as a mechanical engineer, moved to Grande Prairie five years ago after graduating from college, and he ended up falling in love with the city.

“Grande Prairie is all I was looking for, I met my wife here and we have two beautiful children,” said Johnston.

One of the reasons Johnston was inspired to run as a public school trustee is because he feels the school board is offloading its responsibility to protect children onto other levels of government during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It really has to be up to the school board to make sure we take the necessary precautions to protect our children,” said Johnston, referring to the board’s decision not to institute mandatory masking measures in September.

“I wanted to try and show myself to see if I could be a change agent for the future,” Johnston said.

Another reason Johnston was motivated to come forward is to help resolve issues with the provincial K-6 pre-school curriculum, which most school boards across the province choose not to. pilot. Johnston says there are many divisive issues, such as the new agenda, making their way through the community, and says this election is a good opportunity for people to find direction.

“I think this is a great opportunity to almost have a referendum or to take the pulse of the community on a lot of these hot topics,” said Johnston.

“There are different roles of the administrator, part is to come up with political ideas, but a more important part is to listen to the community,” said Johnston. “I want to raise these issues and I want people to talk about them. “

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Johnston also wants to revisit the government’s proposal to put more emphasis on classroom testing.

“I want to see, for example, less or no homework, I want to see a reduction in testing, which research has shown, is really not helpful in providing good academic results,” said Johnston.

Johnston is also very interested in trying to help the school board and parents understand how the new weighted average funding model, which was introduced by the provincial government in 2020, will impact schooling going forward.

“Not only will there be less funding in general, due to the education budget freeze, but also changes in the distribution of these funds among different school districts,” said Johnston, “which has the effect to divert money from growing school districts.

Because of the new funding model, Johnston wants to help reinvent ways to help the school board do more with less money per student.

“If we’re going to play by the same rules and do the exact same thing that we’ve been doing in the last 10, 20, 30 years with a lot less money per student, we’re going to fail,” said Johnston.

For more information on Chris Johnston, you can visit his Facebook page at:

The day of the municipal elections is October 18. The candidates for the post of Public School Trustee in alphabetical order are: Ray Buziak, Ryan van Drecht, Jheri Lynn Drover, James, Fletcher, Sydney Fletcher, Karna Germsheid, Alex Innes, Debra Jones, Chris Johnston, Troy Johnston, Donna Koch, Paulette L. Kurylo, Adrianne Larsen, Rob Martin, Ainsley Miller, Tammy Monro, Joan Nellis, Andre Ouellette and Joe Redhead.

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