Port Moody Resident Melissa Hyndes; Thanks
This is a big public thank you to a nineteen year Port Moody resident who I met in 2011; Melissa Hyndes.
Working with others on a board or committee has always been a great way to meet new people, and I got to know Melissa, and others who I now consider friends, through serving three years on Port Moody’s Centennial Steering Committee.
Public education is an inherited birthright for all Canadians, and Melissa is a longtime advocate who began her involvement as a volunteer in School District 43 (SD43). Before she was elected as a trustee in 2002, Melissa was the Parent Advisory Council President and District Parent Advisory Council president.
Prior to the most recent municipal election, Melissa served us on the SD43 Board of Education for twelve years; eleven as chairperson, and in my books this accomplishment alone is an outstanding service to our community, especially through such turbulent times in public education in British Columbia.
One of Melissa’s first priorities as board chair was updating the Policy and Procedures Manual, which was achieved in 2004. With a higher degree of understanding, the new manual helped to define and embrace the goals and programs of SD43, and has provided a baseline for improvements ever since.
Last year I attended an open house where conceptual renderings and plans were presented for the new Moody Middle School of the Arts, which, with other recent new Middle and Secondary Schools, seemed to represent a crowning success for the City of the Arts.
Because of my interest in Coronation Park, and it’s proximity to Port Moody, I also had the chance to talk to Melissa prior to the election about the difficult, but necessary, decisions the board had made earlier in the year to dispose of school properties in order to acquire new properties for high growth areas in the district.
Doing things collaboratively and respectfully with all of the stakeholder partners is how through Melissa’s board leadership, Coquitlam’s Walton Elementary got a Mandarin Bilingual program, and how the newly adopted vision for, “Learning Without Boundaries”, will succeed.
SD43 is the province’s third largest school district, and yet you might recall from media reports last year that it got less money per student than other districts who get “protection funding”. Melissa successfully led the board in getting the province to recognize the current funding formula is inadequate, and now the road is open for the newly elected board to bring about the changes required in SD43 for funding fairness and equity.
Despite continuing financial struggles in the district, one of Melissa’s election priorities had been to advocate for new capital projects for seismic upgrades to make our schools safe for learning. This is another task being left in the hands of the new trustees.
Between 2003 and 2014 Melissa also represented us in numerous roles with the British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA).
It is because of Melissa’s dedication, guidance and selflessness that graduates of SD43 will continue to be tomorrow’s community leaders and nation builders.
As a Port Moody resident, grandfather, and friend, I want you to know Melissa how grateful I am that people like you are prepared to make such a huge commitment for the public good, and especially in the face of adversity. Thank you Melissa.