School District 70 by-election: Frey wins handily
Gaelle Frey lobbied School District 70 trustees not to close a school in the Alberni Valley and now she's on the other end of the decision making.
Frey was elected as a school board trustee after taking 206 out of 694 votes in Saturday's by-election. Her next nearest competitor – Nav Sharma – took 143 votes. Results won't be made official by the ACRD until Wednesday. Frey will sworn in at the end of the month.
“I'm surprised by the margin I won by. I knew I had a lot of support but I didn't think it was that much,” Frey said. “I appreciate everyone's support and belief in me.”
Former trustee Kelly Hepp, Cathy Braiden and Mike McLeman were runners up in the by-election.
“A lot of people, parents and staff at Wood Elementary School know me, and they know I'm dedicated, hard working and that I never give up,” Frey said. “And I like to think I have my finger on the pulse of what's going on in schools.”
Now that she's in, Frey says she's going to familiarize herself with the obligations and responsibilities of a trustee.
She isn't unfamiliar with public bodies and has been involved with community politics for some time. She's a board member on Alberni Valley Minor Soccer, is involved with Wood school's PAC, and coaches three soccer teams.
Frey didn't have a campaign platform per se during the election, and instead spoke consistently against school closure in the Alberni Valley. “I don't think that is going to go away and we need to work towards a positive solution,” she said.
She was also one of the first to speak against the idea of school closure when trustees first broached it three years ago.
Another critical issue Frey wants to devote time to is educational assistants in school. She volunteers to help students with math and English, and sees first hand how overwhelmed teachers are. “There needs to be more support for them in classes. I know first hand because I see it and I want to work to do something about it,” she said.