“Having children in the Seven Oaks school system – a system I grew up in – makes me want to give back.”
For Richard Sawka, becoming a Seven Oaks School Board Trustee is, in a sense, coming full circle.
That circle began when Richard went through the Seven Oaks school system himself, from Kindergarten to Grade 12 graduation. His own experiences gave him an appreciation for the learning environments and teaching staff at schools in the Division. Today, with four children (three of whom are still attending school in Seven Oaks), Richard views education with a parent’s eye. His interest in maintaining a high quality of education – combined with a desire to give back to his community – inspired Richard to run for Trustee. Now he has the opportunity to support and represent the schools and people that first offered him the opportunity to learn and succeed.
Richard is a graduate of the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba, and a professional engineer employed at New Flyer Industries. As such, he believes that literacy, numeracy and the sciences are the pillars of a good education. He is committed to providing opportunities for others to learn those subjects by ensuring the Division provides the best learning environments possible. From ongoing professional development for all staff to creating new programs, classrooms and buildings, Richard works with his fellow Trustees to see that administrative overhead remains low and money goes directly into the classrooms.
When Richard attends community events with his wife and children (including events like the mini Festival du Voyageur at École Belmont School and the Human Rights Museum at École Seven Oaks Middle School), he sees students engaged and excited about learning. He sees the commitment to inclusion of special needs students who learn in the classroom alongside their peers. He sees the growth both in terms of student population and in innovative programming. And he’s proud to be part of it all, representing students, parents and taxpayers.