Teacher announces school board bid

Jack Trovato. -
Jack Trovato.
— image credit:

There will be at least one new member on the Richmond Board of Education following November’s civic election, with Kenny Chiu announcing earlier this year that he won’t be running again.

And there’s no shortage of newcomers seeking to fill that spot.

Longtime Richmond resident and Burnaby high school teacher Jack Trovato has announced his intention to seek a spot on the board.

With all the buzz about the ongoing labour dispute between B.C. teachers and the provincial government, Trovato said he thought social media would be the ideal platform to announce his intentions. So he set up a Facebook page, where he reveals he was gently encouraged by family friends and a few parents and teachers to toss his hat into the political ring.

Running a “grassroots campaign” and not backed by any political parties, Trovato told The Richmond Review Thursday that he will be running as an independent, non-partisan candidate.

A graduate from Matthew McNair secondary, Trovato lives in Steveston and has worked at Byrne Creek Secondary School in Burnaby for the past decade, as the head of the arts department and a drama teacher.

Although he hasn’t been an activist, he was spurred into action by the ongoing labour dispute.

“I wanted to do something, be productive and pro-active and stand up and speak out and make a difference,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of things at stake.”

Trovato said his family moved from Argentina to Canada in 1965, drawn by Canada’s “democratic, pluralistic, egalitarian society.”

Canada has a reputation for providing a level playing field for everybody, meaning those with hopes and dreams can realize them through hard work.

He believes a high quality and well-funded education system “acts as the cornerstone of our democratic society.”

“If you take that away, you get haves and have-nots,” he said.

Trovato said he’s alarmed by the fact per-student funding in B.C. is $1,000 less than the national average.

“Underfunding is something that should concern every British Columbian,” he said, whether they have children or not, as it benefits everyone to have knowledgable and productive citizens.

Students deserve more one-on-one support, every student deserves smaller classes and better resources and supports, he said.

If he’s elected, Trovato said he would advocate for a “first rate, high quality, well funded education system for all students.”

He would also advocate for a safe, welcoming and inclusive school system.

Newcomers Kevin Lainchbury and Peter Liu also recently announced they are running with Richmond First, alongside incumbent trustees Donna Sargent, Debbie Tablotney and Eric Yung.

Current trustees Grace Tsang, Rod Belleza and Norm Goldstein could not be reached for comment.

Kenny Chiu, who plans to complete his term as a trustee, announced earlier this year that he will be seeking the Conservative nomination in the new Steveston-Richmond East federal riding.

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