Vancouver Island Zone
Jennifer Parlee, Grade 3 teacher and Music Specialist at Strawberry Vale Elementary in Victoria, BC,
brings nearly 20 years of community service to her candidacy. Jennifer’s passionate commitment to her
community began when she became a Big Sister in the 1990’s, and has continued with participation on
local municipal committees and an abiding investment in local music.
A graduate of the Bachelor of Music Program at the University of Victoria, Jennifer was a private music
teacher before getting her teacher’s certification through the Post-degree Professional Program at
University of Victoria’s Faculty of Education. For 15 years, she has been the Music Director of the
Allegra Singers, a community choir known for its inclusive character, regular visits to seniors’ residences,
and donations to local charities.
Jennifer held the position of Vice-Chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission with the Township of
Esquimalt from 2006-2008. Following that, she was Vice-Chair of the Centennial Celebrations Select
Committee from 2009-2010. Jennifer was instrumental in spearheading a much-needed paint and
maintenance program for the playground spaces in Esquimalt. During her time on the Commission,
complex budget decisions were a top concern, involving detailed preparation and lengthy meetings.
Jennifer made it a significant priority to understand and negotiate these terms. Later, when the
Commission was downgraded to a Committee, Jennifer worked hard at helping to interpret and rework
the required legal changes.
Jennifer lives with her husband and daughter in Colwood, where they keep backyard chickens, navigate
French-immersion homework, and plan their next camping trip. Election Statement:
I’m a fair-minded person with a record of solid commitment and hard work. I possess sound judgment
and impartiality, which are essential to addressing potentially divisive conflicts.
To me, the existing Standards have a lot of value and it’s important to honour the time and thought that have gone into their development over the years. We presently have the opportunity to re-evaluate the wording of these Standards, with an emphasis on how they’ll be used in practice. Each Standard must be examined in terms of its actual application, since it will be used to determine the competence of teachers and to guide disciplinary hearings. The literature issued by the Ministry of Education states that Standards must “reflect what is best for children and society, not what is best for teachers”. I believe it’s possible to develop an inclusive model where everyone works together toward the common goal of creating safe, vibrant and successful classrooms. Regardless of the limits to the BC Teachers’ Council mandate, I see it as a vital opportunity for teachers to join in a discussion with the government about issues related to our profession. Any time teachers can participate in a public decision-making process, it’s necessary for our voices to be heard. It’s not enough just to have someone sitting at the table. We need a person who will engage in meaningful discussion regarding the various issues relating to the Council’s mandate, while ensuring teachers’ perspectives are considered.
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