MICHAEL GRAHAM

I am prepared to make the four-year trustee commitment to you, the voters of Fort Frances, as a team player representing the communities of Rainy River District on our board of trustees.
Marlyss and I are grandparents of two elementary students and as such have a clear vision for a safe, focused, and an academic-based education. I see these as important issues facing school board trustees across Canada.
A safe school will structure classrooms that address bullying and classroom violence with written reports on every occurrence, dealt with immediately administratively or with law enforcement on the first report.
I believe it is not the severity of the consequence, only the certainty. Behaviours tolerated or ignored soon evolve into situations siphoning the classroom dry of any potential academic learning.
A safe school provides structure for student mental health where assignments are not deferred to a week or month later. Compounded overdue academic assignments create undue student mental and emotional stress. The workplace skills we expect our children and grandchildren to develop are not acquired by deferring assignments; their future employers will not tolerate this behaviour.
A focused classroom is a cellular phone-free environment. Distracted students are neither focused nor engaged. Distracted students fall behind in acquiring academic skills taught hour by hour by teachers we employ for that purpose.
This is why our school board employs teachers to provide consistent high levels of education.
I arrived in Fort Frances three years ago bringing an aviation business and employer perspective to academic expectations of public education. A second career included years as a special education teacher preparing the less-gifted with employable skills and self-discipline.
I have front-line experience in our local high school classrooms in Atikokan, Fort Frances, and Rainy River as a supply (OT) teacher. I am a sponsorship committee member supporting our local Air Cadet squadron that provides structured training for youths aged 12-18 interested in acquiring skills in citizenship, leadership, and physical fitness.

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