May 30th, 2024

Kristina Larkin: Community builder passionate about public education

By Dale Woodard on August 19, 2021.

Kristina Larkin's time spent in the community in both her career and as a volunteer has fueled her dedication for education. Photo is submitted by Osermen Irete

Kristina Larkin’s time spent in the community in both her career and as a volunteer has fueled her dedication for education.
She’s now taking that ample experience and throwing her hat in the ring for school trustee for the Lethbridge School Division.
“I’m very passionate about public education and I’ve been spending my career and volunteer time alongside thousands of Lethbridge students and families,” said Larkin. “I’m really motivated to bring their voices to the board and help build a really robust and strong public education system here in Lethbridge.”
Larkin brings a wealth of experience as a youth worker and a community builder, currently working as the community development manager at the YMCA of Lethbridge.
Previous to that she was running the youth program for immigrant services at Lethbridge Family Services. Before that Larkin was at the Boys and Girls Club.
“All of my time has been with community and with kids and I volunteer on a large number of boards and all levels of politics trying to make a positive change,” she said. “I have lots of experience with governance and education in particular.”
In her time in these variety of positions, Larkin said the biggest thing she’s learned is the critical importance of relationships and that students are listened to.
“The biggest privilege of my life is working alongside young people and hearing all of the things they want for their lives and what public education can offer to help support those dreams,” she said. “That has really moved me to try and bring their voices to the board.”
Supporting diverse learners is one of the biggest issues Larkin has focused on.
“We have a huge variety of experience and need in our district from newcomers to students with learning needs and we need to see more and more robust support for those folks. At the same time we need to advocate on behalf of the school district to provincial government to make sure we can reverse things like the draft curriculum, which doesn’t represent students as well as cuts to earlier funding and support staff funding.
“My biggest thing is I love working collaboratively in the community and I really want to encourage community connections because I think a connected school board with the community enriches both the lives of the students and the community.”
Larkin now gets ready to hit the campaign trail.
“It’s a lot of talking to parents and the community,” she said. “I’ll be knocking on doors from now until the election and staying connected with the community. I ran in the last election and I was a little under 230 votes shy of election. I was the first runner-up, so I’m looking to continue that conversation with the community and keep gaining their trust.”
Larkin can also draw experience from her first campaign.
“The best thing about last time was just getting to knock on people’s doors and ask what they’re interested in in the public education system and what they need for their family and the community.”

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