The following is a submission from a candidate in the 2022 school board election, answering the queries of the Gazette-mainly who the candidate is, why they chose to run and what issues facing Prince Edward County youth are important to them.
My name is Hale Ferguson and I am running for School board trustee North which includes Wellington, Hillier, Ameliasburgh, and Sophiasburgh. I was born and raised in Prince Edward County where I attended Pinecrest Elementary, and then went on to graduate from PECI. I then moved to British Columbia to pursue my degree in teaching at University of Northern British Columbia. I then became a student teacher on an indigenous reserve in the Queen Charlotte Islands.
I am now working for a local not for profit to help increase graduation rates within Prince Edward County. Through this work I have an advantage to the role of trustee because I am currently working with youth in our community and listening to their needs and wants within their schools. I have built a rapport with youth which was easy for me as a person under 30 who recently attended PECI.
If I were to be elected as School board trustee I would continue to advocate for youth, and their needs. I would work with our school board to create & govern a strategic plan that is for our students, that highlights an actual zero tolerance policy for bullying especially when it comes to marginalized youth.
Being born and raised in Prince Edward county, as well as receiving my early education here, gives me a privileged insight into the specific issues and challenges that are faced by youth in our local school system.
My higher education in teaching has given me a deeper understanding of these challenges through the lens of the teachers and faculty, and the tools and limitations they face in addressing these challenges.
My time spent as a student teacher in Northern British Columbia helped further my understanding of the issues youth face in the education system.
In particular this experience helped hone my understanding of youth coming from a disadvantaged background. As the only candidate under 30 who is running for Schoolboard Trustee, I am aware of what current students are wanting as I have built that rapport with them in my current occupation.
I will advocate for services that benefit youth that they are wanting in their school systems. Having returned to Prince Edward County after university, and working in our hospitality sector, this has helped keep me connected to our current community issues as well as refined my interpersonal skills. My lifetime of experience – from my childhood in PEC, my continued education, my work experience, and my community involvement – has given me the skills and knowledge to excel in the role of school board trustee.
This, combined with my passion for this work, I believe that I am the best candidate for this position in our local public school board.