A veteran Trustee of the Hanover School Division would like to extend her stay on the board by another four years.
Lynn Barkman has given 22 years to improving education in Hanover. Having been a Trustee in Ward 2, for the Mitchell, Blumenort and Landmark area for the past number of years, Barkman says now that they've moved to Steinbach, she'd like to represent a new group of students, in Ward 3.
Growing up near Emerson, Barkman knew from a young age that education was important. So, she pursued nursing as a career.
“My husband and I farmed near Giroux, east of Blumenort, all our married life. I've always had a passion for education and I'm so grateful for what the school division did for our own children, so being a school trustee was just a natural fit for me. And because I am a nurse by profession, I do know a lot of people and I just love to give.”
Understanding that the past several years have been difficult for students, Barkman says “I think one of the key things is that the kids can return to school and start blossoming and work toward their career, whether it be culinary, whether it be science, whatever. They have been out of school for two years now and just for them to socialize, which is very key to mental health. I want each student to celebrate and say to the next student, “This is the school I belong to. I am safe here. I'm comfortable." Barkman continues, "Personally, I appreciate every educator and love, love being a part of the Hanover School Division.”
Barkman notes that “The quality of education we have today is no accident. It occurs when people care about the future of our children and there is competent leadership, dedicated teachers and parental involvement. I firmly believe that all students need to feel safe, loved and accepted. And that this will take the students a long way, especially towards mental health. And I think we've always had mental health issues, but I think with students not being in school, it has jumped to another level. I think we're all good at covering up one way or another. We are all human, but it is a very serious problem, and we would like to do everything we can to help every student get to the level that they can become who they want to be.”
When it comes to education and learning. Barkman feels that because each student understands differently than the other, education too has a different meaning for each student. “I think you can have three different students with three different careers and each one is important. We need every career to succeed. What's the point of being a scientist if you have no plumber?”.
Barkman talks about the value of teachers. “I'm a strong believer in paying it forward. Teaching is an incredibly demanding profession. Educators work, work, and give and give. But, how often do they really stop and consider, “I made a difference today in this child's life, I truly made a difference.” I think teachers and educators pay it forward on a daily basis, but they never stop and think, “Wow, I did make a difference". Because they did!"
She remembers. ”When I first became a school trustee and we'd be at meetings talking about policies, etc. “Will it benefit the students?” And ultimately, all of us in the Hanover School division, every trustee, tries to do exactly that, Will it benefit the students?”
“I also want to include that Steinbach residents should have the right to be heard. A positive relationship between parents and teachers and school admin is critical to understanding and meeting the needs of our children. We need to maintain this positive exchange of vital information, in order to see our children blossom, mature and develop in a healthy way.”
Municipal council and School Board election day is on Wednesday, October 26.
Nomination papers need to be in by 4pm on Tuesday, September 20.