With three sons in Nanaimo-Ladysmith public schools, Jessica is strongly committed to our school system. She was elected as a School Trustee in North Vancouver in 2014 and remained committed to the role even after her family moved to Nanaimo in 2017. She served as Vice-chair, on Provincial Council, and on several committees (e.g., Audit committee, French Immersion Review committee). As trustee, Jessica advocated for good governance, transparency, evidence-based decision making, sustainability, classroom-focused budgeting, and improving staff morale.
Jessica’s professional life taught her both sides of our education system: where it works well, and where it falls short. With a PhD in Clinical Psychology, Jessica worked with youth in many capacities. As a university instructor, she knew what students needed to succeed. In her work with at-risk and incarcerated youth, she saw how schools failed to meet the needs of young people and the impacts these failures had on our communities. As a clinician, Jessica learned the complexity of class composition issues and the role of mental health, giftedness, and intellectual disabilities in the classroom. Jessica knows the importance and cost effectiveness of early assessment and intervention. By profession, Jessica is a listener and appreciates multiple points of view in decision-making and conflict resolution. She works tirelessly to advocate for more classroom resources, more support for students with special needs, and a better learning environment for all children.
“North Vancouver’s loss is Nanaimo’s gain. Jessica will make an outstanding Trustee and advocate for Public Education. A woman of the highest ethical standards. If I lived in Nanaimo I’d be knocking on every door in town in order to get Jessica get elected. A Trustee of higher quality you will not find. ” – Norm Nichols, retired teacher