It was exciting to see the Parkland 40th anniversary celebrations unfold May 30 and carry on through the weekend. Working in the wings, it was very informative for me to see just how big a role our high school has played in shaping our little towns north of Victoria.
People from every era and every persuasion were present and one couldn’t help but feel special — being a part of something bigger, not just a place of education but the base of the community.
A high school forms the core values and beliefs of a community and it acts as a network where everyone has some common ground. In recent years, this bedrock of the Saanich Peninsula has been threatened by groups that have become dissatisfied with progress and opportunity. Insofar as their desire to prevent families from becoming a part of our Parkland community they are guilty, as we need that housing growth to survive.
With a strong economy which doesn’t require large families, it becomes difficult to keep schools open due to declining enrollment. While there are many other costs to consider, it is key that there be ‘bums in seats’ in the future such that Parkland, and to a larger extent the Saanich Peninsula, can stay open for business.
As we are heading into a fall election, I would suggest to our municipal leaders that we find ways to make progressive, sustainable housing growth work so we can keep our community healthy with our favourite school.
Ryan Trelford (2013 Parkland Student Council President)