Helping students reach their full potential

Darrell Cole
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Allen running for Amherst’s school board seat

Richard Allen is running for the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board in the Town of Amherst.

AMHERST – Richard Allen would like to see the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board create a long-term vision so every child can reach his or her full potential.

That’s why the Amherst resident is running for a position on the school board. He is facing incumbent David Myles for Amherst’s seat on the board.

“We need to ensure that we have programs in place that enable every child to reach their full potential. It is difficult to provide leadership and help carry out a vision when issues like overcrowded classrooms in schools, split classrooms and the transporting of children to different schools is taking place,” Allen said.

Allen, who is the president of the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association, said the province needs to move ahead with construction of the new West Highlands Elementary as soon as possible in a location that is optimal for that area’s children.

Allen lives in Amherst and has two sons. He graduated from Acadia University with a bachelor of arts degree and from Saint Mary’s, where he receive a bachelor of commerce degree in marketing.

He said the school board must be responsive and receptive to parents, staff, students and town residents. It must take input from all groups and weight all the facts before making decisions.

He said the board sometimes has a top down approach that doesn’t consult with other stakeholders including teachers and parents.

“A board member is a trustee of the community that elects him or her,” he said. “That trustee must be accessible and willing to collaborate with all members of the community including the school advisory councils, teachers and most of all the parents.”

Allen said government cutbacks have hurt the education system and he fears the educational needs of the children are being compromised.

“The reality is that cutbacks will occur in some areas; but we need to ensure that the representative of the people makes sure that everyone is informed and these decisions are made with every consideration on how it will effect our children,” Allen said. “My efforts as a board member would centre on serving all of the children in the town; one child is no more important than another.


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Recent comments

  • Robert Bird
    September 28, 2012 - 14:39

    Best of luck Richard, I know your motivation is our kids.

  • Adam Davies
    September 28, 2012 - 11:50

    I am the candidate for the School Board election in neighbouring District 3 and I welcome Richard's comments in this campaign - Good Luck! Speaking to the 'Mother' who left a comment above, there are candidates who are laying out clear plans on how we can pay for the important things that you have highlighted in this period of budget reductions. Unfortunately, and here I am respectful of the Conditions of Use on this page, the discussion is taking place on facebook. There are many candidates with new ideas in this election, you just need to find them and to participate..

  • mother
    September 28, 2012 - 08:01

    I would be interested in hearing from Richard on HOW he is going to make these changes and not just what he would change, We all want the education system to change in some pretty big ways..more EAs smaller classrooms without a spilt, NOT having a classroom in the gym More support workers ie..there is only one speech helper for Cumberland, so your child only gets help once a month because of the demand for her/his time. So please answer the question of how these things will change.

    • Richard Allen
      October 01, 2012 - 22:45

      Sorry I was away for hockey meetings in Halifax. I appreciate the comment regarding HOW I will make the changes. The short answer is I will look for cuts outside the classroom where it will not effect the students. There are far too many administrators, consultants, etc that have no impact on what goes on in the schools on a daily basis. We need to have a voice who will express concerns regarding the hiring of retired superintendants as high priced consultants. I think the money could be spent on perhaps librarians, EA's, etc. I think my father called this political patronage. If you don't show value to the students and teachers then let's spend the money in areas that directly effect our students.