Education Minister Peter Fassbender Visits LFAS

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On January 31, LFAS played host to a very special guest: MLA and Minister of Education, Peter Fassbender. He was visiting to talk to the grade 6 classes, welcoming questions and participation from students as he spoke of his career and what he has learned from his years in various forms of government and leadership.

Appointed as BC’s Minister of Education in May of 2013, this was not his first role in government or education. He started his leadership career when he ran for the Langley School Board and became a trustee, pursuing his interest in education.

Fassbender served as school board trustee in Langley for two terms (four years), before it was recommended several times that he run for City Council. He was elected in his first campaign and served three years as councillor, followed by three terms as mayor of Langley City during which time he dealt with affairs like renegotiating RCMP contracts and transportation issues.

After serving Langley City, Premier Christy Clark suggested that if he really wanted to make a difference in the field of education he should run for Cabinet in the upcoming provincial election.

The reason he ran for legislature in the first place, he said, is that he “wanted to continue helping [the province]”.

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As for what it’s like to be in such an important leadership position, he shared that it can be lonely and tiring as he tries to not only fulfill his responsibilities in government, but also tries to keep some time for himself and his family. Fassbender has three cell phones which he showed to the students – one for his MLA position, one for his job as Minister of Education, and one for personal use.  However exhausting his work may be, he can’t sit still for very long.  “It’s all about mental attitude,” says Fassbender. “Education is one of the most important things in our society. I just do the best I can every single day; our goal is to help you be successful.”

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At the end of the afternoon, students had a few more questions, all very important:

Q: “What’s your favourite food?”
A: “Sushi”

Q: “Favourite colour?”
A: ”Blue”

And most importantly, “Do you like Star Wars?”
Fassbender had only one response:

“I have the entire set at home.”

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Photos and article by Mackenna Bremness

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