Mark Neufeld comes from seven generations of teachers and has been an educator in South Saanich for the better part of 25 years. He is one of the founders of the Institute for Global Solutions at Claremont Secondary (IGS). The IGS program teaches students about the most pressing problems facing our world today while equipping them with the skills they require, through community partnerships, to create solution-based initiatives within their own communities and abroad.
Neufeld first got involved in community politics many years ago when he was voted vice-president of UVic’s Student Society. He became interested in provincial politics when he walked 13km downtown to the legislature to talk personally to Gordon Campbell about leadership. Three days later, he did, but not before he was joined by hundreds of students, teachers, parents and received considerable media coverage. He is currently serving as a Parks and Recreation commissioner in Area B of the CRVD. He has been increasingly involved with the Ministry of Education for his work as a thought leader in innovative education and solutions-oriented community work.
Having recently completed a MSc. Interdisciplinary at UVic with Andrew Weaver in Earth and Ocean Sciences and with the Faculty of Education, Neufeld was inspired to run for the BC Greens for many of the same reasons that inspired Dr. Weaver. After 25 years of teaching and advocating for young people to get involved in their democracy, taking kids as far as way as Ottawa and the United Nations in New York, it was time to get directly involved if the words were going to have their full meaning. He hopes to continue to inspire as the representative for Saanich South.
Neufeld truly believes that all of the solutions we need exist for the complex challenges that face us in the 21st century. It will take courage and community but through evidence-based policy making, we could see B.C. emerge as a role-model for Canada and the rest of the world.
Mark was honoured by the “Teachers Matter 2012” Award where he was voted one of top five most inspirational teachers in Canada. He gets his inspiration from his students, his family, as well as the many colleagues, community members and friends he has worked with across Canada, within First Nation Communities and in Uganda. He continues to teach at Claremont and is currently an instructor with UVic’s TRUVic program.