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Steve Cardwell



I am committed to being a part of the education sector and, in particular the public education system, continuing to support and advocate for all students, their parents and caregivers, ensuring that quality education is democratic, free, equitable and inclusive.  

My key motivations are to support student success and well-being, ensure accessible and safe learning environments, and advocate for sufficient resources for improved teaching, learning and working conditions.

I have the experience and will continue to make significant contributions.

I was the Superintendent and CEO for two school districts. I concluded my K-12 career in 2015 having served the students, parents, and community in Vancouver and Delta. This gives me a deep understanding of the needs and challenges of the education system. I worked closely with my own boards of education and connected with local post secondary institutions during these times.

I have served the post-secondary sector for over 14 years both early in career as a lecturer and during the past 8 years teaching at the graduate level at UBC, and in senior administration at KPU.

I have served on a number of boards and councils during my career. These include: Science World, BC Council on Admissions and Transfer, BC Council for International Education, Technology Education Careers Council, BCIT Technology Educators' Program Advisory Council, and the EdCan Network Council, and leading roles with Learning Forward Board, Senior Academic Administrators' Forum, BC Science Teachers' Association, and the BC School Superintendents' Association.

I currently serve as Chairperson of the Institute for Public Education BC (IPE/BC) and am a member of the Quantum Algorithms Institute (QAI) professional development advisory committee.

As a Superintendent/CEO, university Vice President, and senior consultant to school districts and post-secondary institutionsI have gained a strong understanding of how school districts and universities function. I understand the processes and practices of our K-12 and advanced education systems. I also know the people involved – employee groups, government, and community.  I have visited many K-12 and post-secondary institutions across the province - I know both sectors.

Throughout my career, I have worked closely with the people involved, including rights holders, students, parents/caregivers, unions, administrators, and ministry staff.

With more than 44 years serving public education, my background and leadership experiences prepared me to respond to the challenges we face, whether small or large in scope and affecting individuals, groups -- and our education system as a whole.

Truth and Reconciliation will always be my first priority. This will take time and require an ongoing commitment working with Indigenous peoples.

Equity and inclusion must be for all students. Racism and discrimination of any kind have no place in our classrooms. Students must feel culturally safe, secure, and supported in all aspects of their lives.

Student well-being is essential for learning to take place. In these trying times, mental and physical health supports must be provided. Education at all levels should be a joyful and rewarding experience for each and every student.

In addition, the surrounding physical environment must provide safe and accessible working, teaching, and learning conditions for students and all employees. Air and water quality, physical safety, and accessibility are key areas that must continue to be improved.

I support good governance that respects all members of the community. I believe in an active citizenry. I work for full transparency, open consultation and respected voice.

Above all, I place students first!


I acknowledge my privilege and place in society. I reside part time on Parker Island and part time in Coal Harbour, Vancouver. I acknowledge that I am unlearning and relearning on the Unceded and Traditional Territories of the Coast Salish Nations. I am committed to engaging in ongoing acts of reconciliation.


Perspective: About
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