Running for: St. Albert Public School Trustee
Years resident in community: 2 years
Family status: Divorced
Education: B.A. Journalism; NACLAA Level 1
Current Occupation: Executive Director
Q: What was your primary motivation to seek elected office?
I want to be a St. Albert Public School Board Trustee to honour the dedication of myriad teachers, school counsellors and support staff who invested personally in me and to all of the education professionals who dedicate their time and passion to students now. Growing up in poverty and in a family where physical and emotional abuse were the daily norm, school was always a sanctuary where I could explore the boundaries of my own curiosity. I excelled at school and had teachers that made a difference in my life. Unlike 99 per cent of the other “at-risk” kids, I thrived and succeeded in my educational pursuits because of the emotional investments made in me by caring educators.
Q: What skills and experiences have prepared you for this office??
First and foremost, I’m a parent of two great kids … one of whom has successfully completed her high school education and my youngest who is halfway through. Secondly, I have served in office before. The same principles that guide collaborative leadership and consensus decision-making in a municipal government setting also apply to the role of a school board trustee. I work with several volunteer boards in my professional life and know what it takes to move successful endeavours forward.
Q: What do you think are the most important issues to the community at large?
The lack of physical activity in North American schools is shocking and is leading to poorer performance in academics and very low health outcomes for our kids. Countless studies cite the benefits of activity to help focus the mind, yet school-aged children, for the most part, spend their days glued to their school desk.
Additionally, transportation to and from school is another challenge that threatens to divide the community, especially for high school students. St. Albert continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. We need to work with the city to make sure that all taxpayer-funded assets are deployed to their highest maximum advantage, including transit buses and roadways.
Q: What specific goals will you work to achieve if elected?
1. Collaboration with the City of St. Albert to ensure school kids have cost- and time-efficient access to transit buses during peak school times. It doesn’t make sense to clog up the roadways and neighbourhoods with both empty StAT buses and full school buses.
2. Ensure that every elementary school has a PE Specialist – not all of them do.
3. Encourage public school teachers to incorporate movement and activity into their daily learning environments. This will help provide focus and will increase healthy outcomes for both students and teachers alike.
4. Working with my trustee colleagues to lobby the provincial government to make changes to the curriculum, adding basic life skills to elementary education and boost the current junior high and high school offerings to include meaningful and relevant life skills, not just career pathways.
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