Letter to the editor

The following is a letter to School District 6 and the board of trustees.

I am a 2023 graduate and valedictorian of David Thompson Secondary School. I am writing to voice both my observations and concerns in regards to the senior administration of School District 6.

Over the last two years, countless SD6 staff have taken leave, resigned, or quit. Coincidences do happen, but I have a different idea.

During my time at DTSS, I was a member of the District Student Advisory Council (DSAC), so I spent some time with senior administration. Every time we would have a meeting, I had this bad gut feeling. Some administrators would do their best to seem interested for five minutes, and then would either answer their phone, or leave for a meeting. Wait, aren’t we at a meeting?

Ironically, on community engagement night, one administrator was more engaged to their cell phone. Interesting, how can administrators of our district know what’s best for students when they don’t appear to have genuine interest or compassion?

Visions, missions, strategic plans, data analysis. Cool, but we’re not trying to franchise an IKEA. ‘Limitless potential’ sounds like a Nike slogan. We’re children. Each student is too complex to fit within

the confines of a strategic plan. ‘Limitless potential’ is not curriculum based. Not data based. Not percentage based. It’s individuality. It’s curiosity. It’s passion.

Guess what? Teachers have a passion too. They teach, guide, and inspire hundreds of little humans each day. Arguably one of the most fulfilling jobs, don’t you think? So I can only imagine how difficult it would be for a teacher making the tough decision of leaving because they feel they can no longer teach, guide, and inspire students in this environment that is SD6. I know some of the teachers personally who have left, and they left feeling defeated, frustrated, and disappointed.

So, what’s the solution? Reconsider the corporate heads of SD6? Maybe (it would help). But I think you have to pull the curtain back. I don’t mean a new slogan or survey. I mean understanding the students, how they learn, what motivates them, what keeps them curious. Trust me, sitting at a desk with no movement while a phone is buzzing in your pocket, listening to a monotone lecture being read from a textbook written 40 years ago doesn’t cut it today. You have to listen to the teachers and students, and be adaptive to the change or you will lose the battle.

Remember who all of this is for. They are the future.

Daven McMurray, Invermere