COPE has a strong history of defending students and public education. If elected, a COPE School Board will not be complicit in further cuts to our education system. A COPE School Board will be strong voices for anti-poverty and anti-oppression advocacy, ensuring that every student and their family can afford to stay in this city to receive a quality, inclusive, non-discriminatory public education.
Diana Day is passionate about social justice issues for all students in the VSB, and in particular advocates for successful culturally safe learning environments for vulnerable youth. As an Oneida First Nations woman, Diana believes in creating environments free from bullying and that sharing and learning about Indigenous culture in schools, can help to combat negative stereotypes and promote anti-racism.
As a single parent working full-time and an Indigenous woman Diana knows first-hand the struggles students and families face on a daily basis while, trying to succeed in the VSB system and she would be delighted to represent COPE on the School Board. Find out more about Diana here.
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Ralph Fraatz is driven by his experience as a teacher to advocate for support for students with special needs and First Nations students, as well as reinstatement of Junior Kindergarten. Over the course of his 32 year teaching career in Vancouver, Ralph taught, supported and encouraged students facing a variety of different challenges. He started his career as a Teacher On Call and went on to become the enrolling teacher for two district programs.
In the latter half of his career, Ralph moved into the position of a non-enrolling teacher (Resource: Learning Assistance/ESL). His duties included meeting regularly with school based team, consultation/collaboration with school and district staff, parent/teacher conferences, student assessment, the writing and implementation of IEPs/AIPs and small group instruction. Ralph also served as a VESTA Staff Rep. for three years. Find our more about Ralph here.
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Heidi Nagtegaal is passionate about addressing systemic issues of poverty and bringing anti-racism and anti-homophobia policies to Vancouver schools. Heidi strongly advocates for anti-oppression training for all staff in the school system, safer spaces supporting, gender neutral bathrooms, and sensory rooms for students with various special needs to ensure accessible and inclusive education and facilities for all students.
Heidi is an artist and an active resident of Grandview Woodlands. In 2006 she founded the Hammock Residency, a community based initiative to create space for local and international artists to grow their practice. As an artist she has shown work internationally. Heidi is a lifelong advocate for children and has recently worked for the Vancouver School Board. Find out more about Heidi here.
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Kombii Nanjalah has extensive experience as a union activist, youth advocacy worker, and community organizer. Kombii is committed to combatting discrimination in schools and ensuring that every child in the public school system receives the attention they needed, with special attention given for newcomer children and children with special needs. She is also especially concerned about access to education for children living in poverty.
Kombii is driven by a passion for empowering youth. In Nairobi, she organized low-income youth and built a soccer movement of over one million children. Currently, she supports mentally and physically challenged children as a Community Care Worker at Pathway Community Services. She also works with the African Great Lakes Networking Foundation, focusing on youth empowerment through education, sports, and music. Find out more about Kombii here.
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Ilana Shecter is a student politician and environmental activist in Vancouver, British Columbia. Shecter is passionate about harness that creativity both inside and outside the classroom, to create a better, healthier, and more sustainable future for all generations. Ilana is passionate about broadening the scope of what counts as education, believing strongly in the values of experiential learning, mentorship, and creating community hubs to offer a more holistic vision for youth empowerment.
Her candidacy to become a COPE trustee on the VSB is focused on using these passions to: co-create a Students’ Environmental Bill of Rights, implement meaningful youth-led partnerships and mentorships, continue advocating for anti-poverty and anti-discrimination policies in Vancouver schools, refuse to implement funding cuts to public education. Find out more about Ilana here.
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