Dr. John McKendry, the interim president and vice-chancellor of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, is seeking one of the five Township seats on the Langley Board of Education. It is his first try at elected office in Langley.
He is a longtime Langley resident and has worked out of the Langley Kwantlen campus for several years.
McKendry is also a former chair of the Langley Memorial Hospital board.
His daughter is a graduate of Langley public schools, and he has had a 38-year career in education in Canada, the U.S. and internationally.
He served as a director of policy, planning, research and legislation and later as assistant deputy minister of universities for the government of Saskatchewan. He has been a college dean, vice-president academic and university provost.
He was involved in restructuring education systems in former eastern bloc countries, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. He has also served as a representative to the European Parliament’s secretariat for science and education and also to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
He is interested in providing quality education and boosting graduation rates from Langley schools. He would also like to work towards a significant increase in the transition rate of high school graduates to post-secondary education, which he says is a key to being able to obtain good career opportunities. This includes training in trades and technical skills, and apprenticeships.
He is a university executive who has a broad knowledge of the global economy, and is acutely aware of the needs of the B.C. labour market and B.C. businesses.
“This global reality places a premium on secondary and post-secondary education,” he says.
He also places a high value on quality standards for learning, civic engagement, sound fiscal management, open and transparent relationships and public accountability.