North Vancouver teacher Ian Cunliffe has earned the respect and admiration of colleagues across British Columbia after his unprecedented 22 marathons in 22 days to raise awareness of the underfunding of public education, according to BCTF President Susan Lambert.
She praised Cunliffe upon his return to Vancouver after running and walking almost 1,000 kilometres from the Alberta border to Canada Place in downtown Vancouver.
“Ian’s passion for teaching and his determination to make a difference are inspirational,” Lambert said. “He’s accomplished an unbelievable physical feat, fuelled by his tremendous caring and concern for his students and for public education.”
Cunliffe says that the public school system is being held together by the goodwill of teachers and a lot of duct tape.
“For too long we’ve been trying to cover up the gaps caused by the funding shortfalls, but more and more kids are falling between the cracks,” he said. “So now I’m calling on my colleagues to love and teach their students as always, to work respectfully with their administrators, and to care for the parents and families we serve, but to put down the duct tape.”
The biggest lesson Cunliffe learned during his long journey was that ordinary people can make change if they raise their voices. “If you speak with integrity and from the heart, decent people will meet you half way,” he said. “Use your power, use your voice, but put down the duct tape.”
Cunliffe will complete his marathons for public education today with stops at:
- 2:00 p.m. Arrive at Broadway and Commercial Drive
- 3:00 p.m. Arrive at Broadway and Cambie
- 4:00 p.m. Arrive at Canada Place
BCTF President Susan Lambert will join supporters walking and running from Broadway and Cambie to welcome Cunliffe home and thank him for his enormous effort in standing up for BC students.
For more information, please contact Nancy Knickerbocker, media relations officer, at 604-340-1959.