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Jacquie Hansen named Alberta School Boards Association president

Even as the new president of the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA), Jacquie Hansen said she will continue to advocate for the same things she does as a trustee for the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board, only now at a provincial level.

Even as the new president of the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA), Jacquie Hansen said she will continue to advocate for the same things she does as a trustee for the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board, only now at a provincial level.

“Being a trustee at the local level is about advocating for kids and families in your local area and being president of the School Boards Association just takes that to the higher level but it’s really all about the same things,” Hansen told the Gazette last week.

“It’s about advocating for families, kids, communities and doing what’s right by investing in education.”

As ASBA vice-president for the last three years, Hansen is already familiar with the inner workings of the organization and with the time commitment that comes with such a position.

“I have always prioritized my local duties and while I know that I may be away at times, I’m still getting to my parent council meetings, I’m still getting into the schools for celebrations when I can and I’m certainly engaged at the board level,” she said.

As president, it will be Hansen’s job to advocate provincially on behalf of Alberta’s 62 publicly funded school boards, which include public, separate and francophone.

Her role also includes trying to get the government to invest in sustainable funding for school boards.

“That’s not just asking for money, it’s about trying to get away from funding that is based on oil and gas revenues. There is a difference in funding education and investing in education,” she said.

“Every year, school boards scramble to try and plan for their teachers, plan for their class sizes and it’s always dependent upon what we’re going to get from the government.”

Hansen is currently serving her fourth term as school board trustee and is a recent recipient of St. Albert’s Baha’i United Nations International Women’s Day Award.

She holds a bachelor’s of physical education degree from the University of British Columbia and has lived in St. Albert with her family since 1995.

“I am blessed to be able to work with such a dedicated group of people at Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools and would like to express my sincere gratitude for their support. It is a pivotal time in education and I look forward to working with my colleagues at the ASBA for the benefit of all students in the province of Alberta.”