May 25th, 2024

Jeff Hill: Candidate believes in an open school board

By Tim Kalinowski on August 6, 2021.

Jeff Hill believes in accountability and transparency, and that a school board's mandate should be to be open to the input of parents. Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski


Jeff Hill believes in accountability and transparency, and that a school board’s mandate should be to be open to the input of parents.
“It feels like a lot of the current board members are representatives of the division, and spokespeople for the division, as opposed to the community,” states Hill. “It is about what’s behind the curtain, and being able to voice concerns and take concerns to the division. To let the division know how parents are feeling, and then report back (to parents). I think that has been the missing piece: parents voice concerns, parents are listened to, but the follow up isn’t there.”
Hill is a father of four school age children who attend Lethbridge public schools, and a vice-president of Business Development with Surex.
Hill says his candidacy for trustee of Lethbridge School Division board was motivated by his frustrations over the school division’s handling of COVID-19 related measures. He cites particularly the issue of no fault finals as being the deciding factor in putting forth his name for election.
“In Lethbridge they left it up to the individual teachers,” he states. “It’s just a question of equity as parents are preparing to go to post-secondary school: is the playing field level? I know there were petitions to the division, school council meetings held, and one of the frustrations was it seemed the division had their mind made up as opposed to a discourse, and figuring out a solution that worked for everyone.”
While Hill agrees with the current school board’s position opposing the new K-5 curriculum and provincial budget cuts, he says he would prefer to defer to the province’s medical experts on the issue of public health measures for schools this fall.
“If the provincial mandate stands, and schools make another decision; OK,” he states. “But I think they need to communicate why that is. I am not a doctor. I don’t have any medical expertise, and I would assume no one in this (school division) building is a doctor either.”
Hill says he hopes to be a true voice for parents if elected.
“Being somebody who comes from a background where relationships and partnerships, and shared vision, are crucial to my day to day success,” he says, “I think I can bring that type of leadership to the school division, be an advocate for parents. The joke I make with my wife is I want to put the parents back in transparency to do what I can to help parents feel they have a voice.”

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