It is so hard to believe that nearly 4 years have passed since I took the oath of office to become a trustee for Rocky View Schools. When I think about what my perception of what trusteeship would be like as compared to the realities of what I’ve lived now, a few thoughts come to mind.
One, is that being at the helm of education and governance is fraught with the hazards and detours that come with working with all levels of government, the frustration that comes with having to navigate the murky and seemingly impenetrably thick waters that is bureaucracy, and the sinking feeling that one is maneuvering the boat with a tennis racquet for a paddle, so slow is the progress.
But the second thought that comes to mind, the thought that far overshadows the first, is likely what keeps most of us civically engaged people coming back for more. It is that there is no more gratifying or purposeful feeling than working for the benefit of your community. It’s that feeling of satisfaction that comes when you believe your work has or will have a positive impact on the people you serve, especially when those people are children and youth.
I have been a proud resident of Chestermere for 11 years now. My husband Dan and I have two children, Danny and Maiya, who are in the Rocky View School system. My background is in the transportation and aviation field, with my last position at the new international terminal at YYC where I was manager of passenger processing and terminal integration. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Law, a Public Relations diploma, and a Six Sigma green belt. I have over 20 years of regional management experience and spent several years as a corporate trainer.
When I was elected, I set a goal for myself that I would do everything possible to elevate Chestermere and amplify our voice to government to ensure the needs of our students and our community are addressed. I have served on multiple committees as a Rocky View Schools trustee, I am currently serving as the Vice Chair of our board, and last year I was honoured to be elected to the Board of Directors for the Alberta School Boards Association. I am making sure my voice, your voice, is heard. And I am not doing it alone. There are so many of you who are quietly offering your time, your knowledge and opinions, your connections and support. From school council executives to parents who attend those meetings and offer advice, to those who ensure the message from the school division gets out to the masses, to those who take the time to email or call me and share their opinion.
As I look to the future my biggest priority for Chestermere students is space. We are close to site readiness for a high school, we are set to open the Langdon Jr/Sr high school in two years, and yet we need more infrastructure. My primary goal is to work in partnership with and ensure the new city council understands the process of getting schools and the role they have to play in that process as well as the need to prioritize school sites in new residential developments. Then, we can work together with our provincial representatives to advocate to the provincial government to get the infrastructure we need. Another goal I have is to challenge the new RVS board to be innovative in creating space for students and partnering with local businesses to give students more hands on practical experience.
Covid-19 has changed the landscape of many industries and fields, Education is no exception. As a trustee I have had to navigate Covid protocols and work within provincial and AHS regulations while trying to keep our students safe and still give them an education. This battle is still not over, we are learning as we go and we are trying to figure out how to live with this persistent shadow, because the only way out is forward. With your input and support, we will use the tools we have and the knowledge we have gained to ensure we always have the upper hand on this virus and strive to always do what is best for kids.
Above all, I know it is my obligation, and I would have it no other way, that in all I do, I work to represent and meet the needs of your children. There is nothing that matters more to me than children and education. It is a pursuit of happiness, a pursuit I don’t yet want to give up. I hope I have represented you well enough that you will give me the honour of your support for another term.
Voting day is October 18th. Please ensure you make your voice heard and vote for your mayor, council, and school board trustee.
After much careful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election as a Rocky View Schools Board Trustee in Ward 2 (the rural area surrounding Chestermere).
It has truly been an honour to serve Rocky View Schools students and families and in particular, Chestermere High, Indus, Langdon, Sarah Thompson, and Prince of Peace schools. I have enjoyed working with School Councils, School Administration Teams and Community Organizations throughout Southeast Rocky View.
There are many individuals in our community who would be excellent Trustees going forward. It is hard work, but equally significant and rewarding. I would encourage anyone interested in running for election, to fill the role of Ward 2 Trustee in the October 18th Municipal/School Board election, to consider the following information https://www.rockyview.ab.ca/board-election.
Rocky View Schools is a remarkable school division and I have been fortunate to take part in its development over the past four years. I wish the RVS Board and Staff every possible success in the next four years and beyond.