The area’s youngest school board trustee wants to use his youth as his main asset to bring a new perspective to the district.

The area’s youngest school board trustee wants to use his youth as his main asset to bring a new perspective to the district.

Youth has a new voice on Qualicum school board

20-year-old Jacob Gair will be a trustee for the next four years after a surprise election victory

School District 69’s new 20-year-old trustee said there is a lot to take in, but he’s eager to help give students more of a voice at the district level.

“I ran on the platform of representing youth and I want to carry that out,” he said after a week to digest his win.

“I will continue to keep close to the students and I’ll make sure I keep going to schools as I did during the campaign.”

After attending the orientation for new trustees he admitted “there is a lot to take in in a short period of time, it’s more complex than I thought,” quipping that “maybe the election was the easy part.”

Trustees met some district staff and got a detailed rundown of the hierarchy and district owned properties.

As a full time, third year Vancouver Island University student working on a double major in history and political science, Gair is close to the daily life of students and said he will also keep talking to students, which he enjoyed during the campaign.

“There was a fair bit of interest when I talked to them and they seemed interested in having a trustee talk to them.”

Gair said previously that the lack of youth representation “among the controlling bodies of the educational system creates a significant divide between what is desired by the students and what is made available to them.”

To that end, along with his own youth, he wants to introduce a current school district student as a representative on the school board.

Born in Fort Nelson, Gair moved around a bit before settling in the area for Grade 1, getting his public education in the district and graduating from Kwalikum Secondary in 2012.

While he agrees with the common refrain that there isn’t much for young people to do in the area, especially in the evenings, he said “I liked growing up here, I really enjoy Qualicum Beach.”

“It’s beautiful and it’s a fantastic place to live.”