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My name is Katie Lutz and I am running for Public School Board Trustee (Saugeen Shores/ Arran-Elderslie). I have always been passionate about the education system and running for School Board Trustee felt like the best way for me to contribute at this time in my life.

There are many issues facing our local school board and while I can’t speak to all of them directly, I can talk about my strongly held personal beliefs about education that will influence the work I will do if elected to the school board.

I feel deep in my heart that Education is the most important thing that we do as a society. Education is the best tool we have for cultivating a thriving and sustainable future society. I also believe that schools have the potential to be central in our communities, bringing people together and forming social bonds.

I believe our schools need to support the academic, physical, and social development of our children and care deeply about well-rounded education. I have seen first hand how studying art and music can make a better engineer, and how studying literature and sociology can make a better business owner. As an individual who has suffered from (and receives continuing treatment for) severe depression and ADHD, I know how important access to mental health services are for wellbeing in our schools. I have been creating relationships with local mental health and wellbeing organizations and would like to see stronger relationships between local services and our schools. If elected I will work hard to ensure that the mental health and wellbeing of our students and school staff are considered in our policies.

In a rapidly changing world, teachers need good support from all aspects of the educational system. I see how hard they are working, and I want to do my part to help improve their experience of teaching through the controls we have as a school board.

I believe that all children have the innate ability to succeed, and I believe that all teachers have the ability to help those children succeed. And the gap that currently exists is something that can be addressed with care, attention, and mindful effort.

Now a little about myself: My husband and I own and operate Smiths Apples between Port Elgin and Burgoyne, and we have a very spirited 7 year old daughter. I have lived almost my entire life in Saugeen Shores with the exception of the 15 years I spent living in Hamilton and Ottawa learning that the city was not where I wanted to be and that Saugeen Shores was home. I am a trained Civil Engineer with a Bachelor of Engineering and Society from McMaster University and I obtained a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Carleton University.

During my time in Undergrad, and as a Ph.D student, I was a Teaching Assistant for multiple engineering classes, where I saw first hand the impacts of the many changes in school curriculum. Now, as a business owner employing many high-school students, I have seen how the education system is shaping these students for the good, and the not-so-good. As a parent, I see the current struggles and joys of a student in the current education system, and I want to do my part to support educators in making school a positive and engaging place for children to develop and grow into the best possible versions of themselves.

I believe our education system can open the doors to life-long learning, and that is one of the most important outcomes of an effective education. A vote for Katie Lutz for BWDSB is a vote for our children, our community, and our future.

See also: Kevin Larson, candidate for BWDSB Trustee