Personally, I blame Wendy MacDonald…

Back when Oliver was in elementary school I resolved that if any member of our household was to become involved in the Home and School association it would be me; Catherine is an inveterate, dedicated volunteer and I was certain that, if she were to be the one, we would wake up shortly thereafter and she’d be running the whole show (believe me, it’s happened before).

I resolved that I would “take one for the team,” so to speak, and this is how I ended up sitting around a table in the staff room at Prince Street School with a bunch of strangers talking about how to raise money to buy window blinds for classrooms that didn’t have them.

One thing led to another and, irony of ironies, eventually I agreed to act as treasurer for the Prince Street Home and School and then, a series of horse trades later, as President.

Somewhere in there, Wendy MacDonald, then serving as Past-President of the provincial PEI Home and School Federation, and a dedicated former Prince Street home and schooler herself, casually asked me if I’d be willing to put my name forward as a candidate for regional directory for the provincial body.

Wendy is one of the smartest minds on PEI, and not someone whose requests you take lightly; she’s not pushy, she’s simply straightforward.

And so I said yes.

And one thing led to another and, irony of ironies, eventually I agreed to act as secretary for the PEIHSF and then, a series of horse trades later, as Vice-President.

Nobody is more surprised than I that I not only participate in home and school but that I actually enjoy it and have become a passionate believer in the power of home and school as an actor in the education system.

Which is how, I suppose, I ended up with my name put forward for the position of President yesterday. There being no contrary-minded, by the end of the day I joined a group of dedicated new and returning directors as part of a new board for the PEIHSF.

I’ve written in this space before why I find home and school so attractive; yesterday’s experience at our annual meeting was no different: we considered eight resolutions, each of which was developed and put forward by a local home and school, on topics ranging from lice to technology. There was vigorous discussion on each, and democracy was coursing through the air.

Later in the day there was a similarly-vigorous discussion with the Hon. Alan McIsaac, Minister of Education and his Deputy Minister Sandy MacDonald and with English Language School Board Chair Fred Osborne and the board’s Director of Curriculum, Doug MacDougall. While not everyone’s questions were answered, the transparency was, I think, appreciated by all (and something, I know from discussion with those from other jurisdictions, we are privileged to enjoy).

And so, for the next two year, when Kerry Campbell intros “for reaction from Island parents, I spoke to…” the name will be mine. I’m daunted by the prospect, but also excited: stickhandling a broad-based Island-side democratic organization with a long history is a great challenge and a great honour. I’ll try not to screw it up.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on April 13, 2014 - 17:40 Permalink


Timothy's picture
Timothy on April 13, 2014 - 18:32 Permalink

Best of luck Peter! I am certain you’ll do right by students, parents, and the system alike.

Ian Scott's picture
Ian Scott on April 14, 2014 - 00:41 Permalink

Congratulations Peter. Great to know that good people, like yourself continue to care about the public education system and respect the opportunity to strengthen it from getting involved.

Wendy MacDonald's picture
Wendy MacDonald on April 14, 2014 - 14:14 Permalink

Congratulations Peter! If I played a part in this happy outcome, I’m glad. I share your belief that Home and School can be a powerful force for positive change in PEI, and I look forward to the innovative thinking and commitment that I know you will bring to the role.

PS love the game — big improvement over those often indecipherable letters.

Heather M's picture
Heather M on April 14, 2014 - 15:59 Permalink

and my blog post would read

Personally, I blame Peter Rukavina…”

looking forward to working with you on the Board for the next 2 years!

Oliver (B)'s picture
Oliver (B) on April 14, 2014 - 22:14 Permalink

That’s great, P. They’re lucky to have you.