After 8 years and two terms as Trustee on the Hanover School Division Board, Brad Unger would like your vote on October 26th. Why?
“I'm passionate about it.”
Unger continues, “I have one daughter still in school. So that means I've got a personal investment in that, right? Over the past years, I’ve felt it's been a good fit. I have very much appreciated getting to know the other people on the Board and the staff in schools. We have a great division. So, why would I not want to be a part of this great division? So yeah, it's a no brainer for me.”
Unger says, much of his passion to be a trustee for the school division is to help students have a healthy mental image of themselves.
Unger describes what staff at one school have been doing to intentionally show their students, that they are loved at school. He describes the 'Loved at school' pins as creative reminders to the students that they are loved. The hand-crafted pins were designed by teachers and handing them out to the students is also initiated by the teachers. But Unger says, it's not just one school and these pins, it's more than that, “they (the teachers) are finding original ways to communicate to the students in their classes, that 'when you’re here you are loved!' Like, there should be no question in the students’ mind, and of course, it’s an Agape love.”
He goes on, “and when I see what's been going even before the pandemic, the mental health of students is what's important to me. We want kids, to want to be in school. A kid who knows that when they get to school, they are loved, that’s a kid who's going to want to go there. And I'm seeing that passion in the teachers and staff in the Hanover School Division and I want to keep supporting that.”
"That's where my heart is at, to love these kids."
He says it’s something the teachers have to want to support and bring that thought process into their schools philosophy, which Unger says he totally supports and encourages. “So, we as a board heard about it “Loved at school” just over a year ago. It's never left my mind. I’d like to continue the conversation about it. To talk openly about this and say, let's have this philosophy blossom and get more people on board and I think, it'll just take off, because this could become a school division philosophy.”
The other topic that is close to Unger's heart is school safety and student safety. “Like I said about love, kids won't come to school if they don’t feel loved. But if they feel loved, they're also going to want to come to school. The same with safety. If a student doesn't feel safe, they won't come to school. So, as our school division continues to grow, we will need to grow and change as well. We live in a world that's changing and different ideas and that sort of thing. We want to do, what I want for myself, security. I want to look and go “Ok, are we going to outgrow the security measures in place?” Then instead of waiting to react, let's be proactive and let's take a look at what security measures are in place right now. Let's take a look at them and go, “Ok, well, some of these things we need to an even more in-depth look at? Like a police presence in different schools for a variety of reasons?” Again, not to react to things, but to prevent them, right?”
Unger also sees a need for more student input. “With my job I get evaluated on a regular basis and I welcome that. Maybe not at first, it's always tough to receive feedback but after a number of years I begin to appreciate the evaluations and what I would like to see is opportunity for students and their families to evaluate how we are doing as a division. How are the different players in our division doing when it comes to making our schools places that kids want to be. Are there ways that we can improve the school experience for our kids? And so, I think if we give students a voice, what does that look like? Can we give students an opportunity to say this is what is working, and this is not working? Is that on an individual class basis? Is that on a school basis? Is it divisionally?"
"I believe it’s very important that students are heard and that we make ways for them to want to be in a school division that's listening to them.”
There are 9 Trustee seats available in the Hanover School Division.
Municipal Council and School Board Election Day is on October 26, 2022.