Board of Education » Trustees


Pam Craig

Pam Craig - Board Chair

250.724.0683 h 250.735.1566 c



BCPSEA, HR, NTC/SD70 Liaison, BCSTA Provincial Council/VISTA, City of Port Alberni, DPAC, Port Alberni Museum & Heritage Commission

I was born and raised in Port Alberni. I graduated from ADSS and attended Simon Fraser University in the Faculty of Education. My two sons graduated from ADSS. I have four grandchildren in SD#70. One granddaughter in Grade 12 in Powell River and one grandson about to receive his Red Seal as an Electrician. I feel a responsibility to work hard for our young people and support their learning in every way possible. I consider it an honour and privilege to be a School Trustee.

One of my priorities is to strive to make sure every student has what they need to be a successful Graduate from Grade 12. School Trustees make sure every opportunity possible is provided for students for a quality education. Through policy development, the aspirations of the local community is reflected. SD#70 is unique amongst the 60 other districts in the Province and therefore, SD70 Trustees must be that local voice to government and the Ministry of Education to ensure the needs of SD70 students are not overlooked.

The Board of Education for SD#70 has worked very hard from 2014 to 2018 to develop a Mission, Vision and set of Core Values that better reflect our current day reality. The Mission states: “to educate students in safe, inclusive and engaging learning environments where every student develops the knowledge, skills and abilities to be a lifelong learner and productive member of society.” For me, it is about serving our community and it’s most valuable citizens, the youth. I remain focused on working together with the six other trustees in a collaborative and consensus building team effort.

In the 2018 to 2021 term, I have three major wishes to fulfill. The first being to highlight and celebrate the many innovative strategies being used by the professional teachers in our district. We need to do a better job of telling our story. Secondly, the SD70 Aboriginal Education Team is doing amazing work developing lesson plans and resources for all grade levels. We must continue the supports for the development of the First Nation content for students, along with the further development of Nuu-chah-Nulth language teaching. Lastly, I wish for an increase in Environmental studies where students are out of the classroom and into nature for their learning.

I have the energy, knowledge and dedication to contribute experience and ethical leadership to the students of SD70.



John Bennie

John Bennie - Trustee
250.723.8918 h



Teacher Pro D

Originally from Chemainus, John Bennie has been a resident of Port Alberni since 1986. A lawyer since 1983, John and his wife Karen have four children between the two of them and have been foster parents since 2003. First elected in November 2002, John is in his fourth term as Trustee, and finds the work enjoyable and challenging, but ultimately very rewarding.


Rosemarie Buchanan

Rosemarie Buchanan - Trustee
250.723.8458 h 250.720.7622



HR, SSEAC, OH & S, Agriculture Development Committee of the ACRD

Rosemarie moved to the Alberni Valley in the fall of 1979, and was first elected to the Board of Education of School District 70 in November of 1980. At 25, she was one of the youngest trustees in Canada. She held that seat for three years, and ran again in 1990, when she was elected and held that seat on the board for another nine years. She ran again in November 2008, and is entering her 22nd year as a trustee in this school district. Rosemarie, as a trustee, has served on the Board of North Island College, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Board collective bargaining committees, and many other boards and committees, representing the needs of students and the school district. In 2010, it was Rosemarie who initiated the ban on cosmetic pesticides in the district, and continues to bring health and safety issues to the Board table. She fully supports progressive changes to education delivery and curriculum, and has always advocated for full, predictable and complete public education funding. Rosemarie's son Eric graduated from ADSS in 1999 as a Knight of the Armada. He is currently on an education leave from his job, completing his degree in Economics at SFU. Rosemarie enjoys her 109 year old North Port home, which is also home to her four rescued cats.


Sandra Leslie

Sandra Leslie - West Coast Trustee



Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, District of Ucluelet and Tofino

Having lived in Ucluelet for 40 years, raised my 3 children here and taught in all 3 schools for 30 years I feel like I am almost a local. I am very lucky as two of my children have returned to Ucluelet and are raising their children here. This community is a wonderful place to live and I am interested in supporting it and the other west coast communities by being an involved member of the School Board.

While the School Board looks at long range goals and the broader needs of our schools they are also the means by which we can advocate for our students.

All students need a safe and caring school experience . I will be the West Coast voice for our schools as our communities continue to grow at a very fast pace. The number of children 5 and under is huge for our small communities and we need to prepare for the increase at first the elementary schools and then the high school.


That preparation will include support for seismic upgrading and/or expansion of all three schools and ways to increase the opportunities for students as they use their school years to develop into successful young adults with the skills needed for their adult lives.


Larry Ransom

Larry Ransom - Trustee
250.724.1700 h 250.720.1048



BCSTA Provincial Council, Port Alberni Advisory Traffic

Born in Port Alberni and an ADSS graduate, Larry has lived in the Alberni Valley all his life and raised his family here. Married to Maria, Larry enjoys life in the Alberni Valley with all the natural and scenic surroundings and many opportunities the valley has to offer.

After retiring from a career at Safeway and Save on Foods Larry joined the Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department, currently serving the community as a volunteer firefighter and EMA First Responder.

Larry encourages more physical activity for kids and volunteers as a coach with the Special Olympics sports program in Port Alberni and is a co-founder and past president of Alberni Valley Minor Lacrosse where he continues to work with the Association to grow the sport locally.

Larry is proud of the legacy of the new ADSS which was approved, planned, built and opened during his time as chair of the SD 70 Board of Education. He is also proud of the decisions the board made in the reconfiguration of schools that included keeping Wood School open and moving the VAST Alternate program from expensive leased space to the district owned location, the 8th Ave. Learning Centre.

In addition to encouraging affordable student opportunities for extracurricular activities including music, drama and sports Larry is a proponent of lifelong learning for students. Removing barriers to post-secondary education for students by developing dual credit courses between North Island college and ADSS has been a great addition to the many options students have. Larry will work to see more opportunities provided for students who sometimes just need a little more encouragement and support for them to achieve.

Focused on the board goal of improving the district graduation rate, Larry believes students will be encouraged to do well in school by developing more courses that have relevance to the working world. He believes the key is maintaining and expanding educational courses and programs related to career development, preparing students for opportunities after graduation with emphasis on the trades, forestry, natural resources, the sciences and technical training.

Working on behalf of students during the 2018-2022 school board term Larry will focus on the continuing development of a positive atmosphere in our schools where all students can learn and grow within a fully safe, inclusive and evolving school system that prepares them for success in life after graduation.



Chris Washington

Chris Washington



HR, Port Alberni Advisory Planning




Connie Watts

Connie Watts



Aboriginal Education Advisory