Haroun, Jewell, Kohle, Crockett want your votes

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A founding member of St. Albert’s affordable housing society is making a bid to become St. Albert Public’s newest trustee.

And three other incumbent trustees have also made public their intent to run again.

St. Albert resident Stanley Haroun announced this week that he would run for St. Albert Public board trustee in next month’s election.

Haroun, 73, is the president of Stanley Haroun Counseling Inc. and past chair and founding member of the St. Albert Housing Society. He ran for city council in the 2004, 2007, and 2010 and for MP in the 2006 federal election. He applied to run in the 2015 city by-election but withdrew before the race officially started.

Haroun, a therapist whose company has helped some 20,000 injured and unemployed Albertans get back to work, said he wanted to enhance mental health treatment and assessment of students if elected.

“Mental health issues, if not identified and treated early, can hinder an individual’s progress in the future,” he said

Haroun said his many years of volunteer and professional experience gave him skills with managing salaries, projects, staff, negotiations, governance and multimillion-dollar budgets that were applicable to the role of trustee.

A 32-year St. Albert resident, Haroun chaired the St. Albert task force on vandalism, which worked with schools and the RCMP to address vandalism. As chair of the housing society, he helped convince the city to legalize basement suites and proposed the $11 million Big Lake Pointe affordable housing project, the construction of which commenced a few months after he left the group. He was vice-chair of the 2016 St. Albert council remuneration review committee and currently chairs ethics tribunals for the Alberta College of Social Workers.

Haroun said he also wanted to support gay-straight alliance and create new courses demanded by students and parents, such as ones on drug abuse and financial literacy, if elected.

Incumbents return

Terry Jewell and Liz Kohle of Sturgeon Public School Division and Greater St. Albert Catholic trustee Joan Crockett told the Gazette this week that they intend to run again as trustees this fall.

Jewell is seeking his 12th term as the representative for Gibbons/Lamoureux, a role he’s held for some 34 years.

“I had one term off for good behaviour when I started my business,” he quipped, referring to Phoenix Land Services, but he’s otherwise been with the board since the 1980s.

“The most important thing I can do for our kids is to get them a quality education,” he said, when asked why he’d stuck with this role for so long. He also had grandkids in the school system, and really enjoyed working with children.

“Maybe it keeps me young.”

Jewell said he brought some 40 years of managerial experience to the trustee table as well as excellent people skills. As a trustee, he recently helped the board keep its budget in balance and start new schools in Morinville and Rivière Qui Barre.

“I have some real concerns about the direction of our present government. I’m not convinced they think trustees offer value to the process, or maybe they’re just way more controlling than I thought they’d be.”

If re-elected, Jewell said he would work to get more resources into the classroom and to protect the place of local governance in education.

“The folks closest to the fire should be the ones putting wood on it.”

In an email, Kohle said she came to trusteeship almost accidentally, and had no idea three terms ago that she would enjoy the role so much. If re-elected as trustee for Bon Accord/Legal, she hoped to see through the completion of the Sturgeon Composite High modernization and the construction of new schools at Morinville and Rivière Qui Barre. She also thought she had valuable input to provide on the upcoming revisions to the School Act.

“Locally elected trustees are closest to their school communities and understand the uniqueness of each community within the broader context of the (School) Act and regulations,” she said.

Kohle said she hoped to find more ways to get students involved in board decisions, noting that students recently helped develop the board’s new mission statement and three-year plan.

Crockett said she was seeking a third term as a trustee in the St. Albert ward in order to share her passion for lifelong learning with students.

“I’m committed to bringing inclusion,” she said, especially when it comes to bringing Indigenous culture into education.

Crockett said she was working with local elders to introduce books on Indigenous life to local schools and had convinced the board to start its meetings with an acknowledgement that they were meeting on Cree, Treaty 6 and Métis territory.

Crockett said she had 30 years of teaching experience and had served as a director with the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association. She is also an Eucharistic minister for St. Albert Parish, a tutor for Star Literacy, and a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army.

If re-elected, she promised to continue to advocate for diverse school programming such as Tagalog language courses and the home-schooling program.

Get your papers in

Trustee candidates will have to get their nomination papers to the right place on Nomination Day Monday if they want to get on the ballot.

St. Albert Public candidates should hand them to Chris Belke at Progress Hall in St. Albert Place between 8 a.m. and noon. Deborah Schlag will take your papers at 6 St. Vital Ave. between 10 a.m. and noon if you’re running for Greater St. Albert Catholic trustee. Catholic trustees for St. Albert can also file with Belke at St. Albert Place. If you’re running for Sturgeon Public, get your form to Iva Paulik at the board office in Morinville (9820-104 St.) between 10 a.m. and noon.

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About Author

Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.