September 23, 2023

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LaBonte needs to concentrate on high quality of schooling, amenities

LaBonte needs to concentrate on high quality of schooling, amenities

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Editor’s Observe: That is the primary in a collection of profiles of candidates for Brockville-area public college board trustees. The election is on Oct. 24.

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Michel LaBonte hopes to be elected as a public college board trustee subsequent month, although he’s been following the board out of pure curiosity for years.

LaBonte, 64, is one in every of two candidates to be a Brockville-area trustee for the Higher Canada District College Board, and mentioned he “enthusiastically” entered his identify onto the poll on Might 2 – the opening day of nominations.

LaBonte, who at the moment chairs an advisory committee of the general public college board, is operating towards incumbent John McCrea, to characterize Ward 5, which covers Brockville and Augusta Township.

“It’s all in regards to the college students,” LaBonte mentioned in a telephone interview, of his motivation to run.

LaBonte has lived in Brockville since 1980 and had a 30-year profession as a chemical engineer at Invista in Maitland. As soon as retired, he started reacquainting himself with an curiosity he’s held for years.

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In Grade 11, he took an inherent ability check that beneficial a set of choices for his future: He may both be a chemistry instructor, or a chemical engineer. He selected to be an engineer, however that curiosity in schooling by no means waned, he mentioned.

“I’ve actually all the time had an curiosity in and extremely worth our instructional system,” he mentioned.

After retiring from his profession as an engineer, he had a household dialogue about what the following part of his life would appear to be. His daughter, an area college instructor, instructed he could be a superb college board trustee. That’s when he began attending the general public college board’s conferences.

“I’ve been to each board assembly since September 2017,” mentioned LaBonte.

“After the primary six or seven conferences, I mentioned: ‘I’ve a skillset that will work out properly within the college board.’”

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That skillset, he mentioned, consists of being pragmatic, and an “trustworthy, logical, easy, common sense” individual – qualities he mentioned will make him a superb match on the board of trustees.

He mentioned the general high quality of the nation is “basically primarily based on the standard of our instructional system, and that features the standard of our all our assets; workers, amenities, tools and management.”

In terms of particular concepts he’ll deliver to the board desk, he mentioned he doesn’t cope with platforms.

“I’m truly fairly discouraged after I hear or see one- or two-issue candidates,” mentioned LaBonte.

He added, nonetheless, one in every of his primary targets as a trustee could be to ensure college amenities are “pretty much as good as they are often.”

This consists of bettering air flow, air con, furnishings, total high quality of faculty buildings, and the standard of the programs provided.

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“We should acknowledge that we do compete with three different college boards. The entire features of our instructional system are (thought-about). The standard of our individuals, however the high quality of our amenities and our tools is one thing individuals take a look at, as properly.”

Particularly, he hopes to make sure arts schooling is prioritized. He performs the trumpet, and mentioned he’s “volunteered music-related help at a lot of our native colleges.””

“Music is a useful a part of our society,” he added.

Regardless of by no means being on the board of trustees, he has some expertise within the system. In 2018, he was appointed by the board of trustees to the Particular Schooling Advisory Committee, and finally grew to become the chairman of that committee in January of this yr.

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Over the course of his profession, he served on “each place, together with chair, of the native chapter of Skilled Engineers Ontario.” He was the schooling outreach coordinator, “bringing engineering ideas into a few of our native colleges.”

For this work, in 2000, he was acknowledged and formally inducted into the Engineering Order of Honour, he mentioned.

These experiences, he added, would make a “priceless” contribution to the board.

“The college board wants numerous numerous enter they usually want some excessive degree educators. They want pragmatic individuals,” he mentioned.

“Now we have a fairly good mix on the board, and I feel it may very well be somewhat higher with me on it.”

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