Derek Gagnon for SD61 Trustee

About Derek

For my entire life, I have worked to benefit the lives of young people in our community through education and life experiences. I currently volunteer with the 2136 Canadian Scottish Regiment Army Cadet Corps, have volunteered with Special Olympics Edmonton, worked with Edmonton Public Schools as a communications consultant, and currently work within emergency management as a public engagement officer.

I recognize and acknowledge the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations on whose traditional territories we live, we learn, and we do our work.

Issues Important to Me

There are a lot of elements that make up a good school district, and the Greater Victoria School District already has many. However, there is always room for growth and improvement.

The issues below are important to me, as I see gaps in how they are addressed in our current system. To address these issues in a fiscally responsible way, I will pursue tangible actions that address multiple topics at once:


As a trustee, I will strengthen relationships between the school board and the Four Houses. Indigenous students in SD61 had a five-year graduation rate in 2020 of 49% compared to 83% for non-Indigenous students. This is unacceptable. To address this, we need reconciliation in our schools for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. This can be accomplished…

Mental Health Literacy

Increased isolation had widespread effects on mental health during the pandemic. As trustee, I will work to create supportive environments where students and staff can be free to express themselves and share their feelings. This means increased education for staff and educators about the mental health challenges our students may face so that they have…

Rebuilding Community Trust

The last four years have seen the public’s view of the Board of Trustees rapidly deteriorate, and by the end of the term two trustees were suspended, there were changes to board chair and superintendent and many interest groups boycotted board meetings. The public, parents and staff alike were left with a negative picture of…

Musical and Physical Literacy

Musical Literacy Music is one of the most powerful tools we have to help students because of its ability to engage so many parts of their mind at once. Say you’re playing the trumpet, like I did when I was in school. Playing the instrument requires you to: All of these combined makes playing music…

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

With the emergence of a slate of candidates for school trustee who would openly attack students’ abilities to express themselves as individuals, I am compelled to comment on this very important issue. Schools should be inclusive and safe for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI). Period. We all have the right to…