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Meet New Westminster school board candidates: Dee Beattie

Trustee hopefuls responded to our school board-focused questionnaire. Here's what they had to say.
Dee Beattie school board horizontal crop
Dee Beattie is running again for New Westminster school board with Community First New West.

Name and pronouns:  Dee Beattie (she/her)

Facebook:  Dee Beattie New Westminster School Trustee



Affiliation: Community First New West


Tell us about yourself:  

I retired as an education assistant after 25 years to work on new projects that included getting my provincial adult teaching certificate and am currently enrolled in the Non-Profit Management program at SFU. I am a mom of two grown sons with three grandchildren and have been a foster mom to 6 children. I volunteer on two boards, Sapperton Residents Association and the Education Assistants of BC Society. In my spare time I am learning to sail, I love to go fishing, prawning and finding oysters.


Why are you running for school board? 

My experience as a foster mom and work as an education assistant brings a lens to issues that are not often considered when making decisions. I know first-hand the struggles of the students who are at a disadvantage and how it affects them lifelong in the school system.  


What do you think the current school board has done well? Where has it missed the mark? 

Our Fuel Up program to feed students a high-quality lunch for an affordable amount including no charge for families in need, is one accomplishment I am very proud of. We can always use more funds to help struggling families and the new Student and Family Affordability Fund will help.  


What are the top three issues facing the next school board?

  1. Recovery from the pandemic by addressing learning gaps and mental health issues.
  2. Space! We need a new elementary and middle school immediately.
  3. Before- and after-school child care in all our elementary and middle schools. 


How do you plan to address those issues?

  1. We need to continue to support all staff with resources to help them with the challenges they face in the classroom.
  2. For the past 2 years I have worked on the joint city/school board committee to examine our Long-Range Facilities Plan to ensure it reflects the needs of our community. This is work I would like to continue.
  3. On Oct 4th the school district will receive a report on our child-care needs and how best to address it. This is work I started, and I want to follow through with results for families. 


Health and safety have been a topic of discussion on multiple fronts over the past few years. What are your health and safety priorities for New Westminster schools, and how will you address them?

Toxic culture has no place in schools, and the safety concerns brought to us by female high school students was alarming, and we immediately directed staff to act. Any behaviour that harms others can’t continue.  We need to support this issue with both proper resources and new policies for reporting and followup. With respect to COVID will need to monitor public health guidelines and make sure we follow the recommendations as laid out by the delegated authority. 


And just for fun: If you got to spend one full day in school again, what grade would you return to and why?

MY HEART! 💓💓💓 Please take me to a kindergarten class anytime, let me sit on the floor and read with these precious new learners.  

Note: All candidates received the same questionnaire, including word limits. (If candidates ran over word limits, answers are cut off at the limit.) Contact information and social media details are presented as provided by candidates.