* Candidate profiles are published as submitted by the candidate.
|Website and Social Media Pages|
|Background||I have lived in Central Alberta my entire life. I had the unique experience of growing up on a farm in rural Alberta and attending a small school.My family has received a "100 years" family award from the government. I have been a trustee for four terms. During those years I have been on committees and have had professional development for “ Defining Basic Education” , “Leadership strategies”, “New trusteeship” , “Communicating with your MLA’s” , “First Nation , Metis and Inuit student achievement “, “Poverty reduction in our communities “, “Public Schools are our first choice”, “Advocating for funding in our schools”, ”Healthy Students” ,"How to make a policy" and “The well-being of children and youth”. I have been a leader at the Zone 4 level for trustees in Central Alberta through the Alberta Schools Boards Association and I have been their voice as a Director at the Provincial level. Each opportunity to learn more about students and education has been an honour I don’t take for granted. I have three awesome kids that have all attended Red Deer Public Schools. My children and your children are why I make the choices I do as a trustee. I love my community. The people of Red Deer have very big hearts. Being a trustee is my way of giving back to this great community.|
|Why are you running for Trustee?||I am seeking re-election to continue my advocacy and support for a few issues. First is because one in ten children live in poverty and it will take more than money to end child poverty in this province. There are already a diverse range of services and supports helping people affected by poverty and our schools are making valuable contributions as well. I want to make sure these contributions are sustainable and equitable. Poverty is a vicious cycle. Poverty can impede a childs ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioural problems, which continues into teens and adulthood.Improving the Mental health and Physical health of students and staff is also a priority that I will continue to tackle and advocate for supports as a Trustee. The emotional supports that our diverse student population requires is increasing every year.Suicide and mental problems are an issue in our schools. An active and healthy body can support an active and healthy mind. We need both to achieve success. Lack of movement is a greater health risk than smoking now in our society. I am on a provincial task force that tackles and shares best practises for improving student mental and physical health .|
|What are your priorities for Red Deer Public Schools?||We started having Equity as a priority a few years ago in our district. We are now having conversations and strategies that are in line with the priorities of the district . Equity was difficult to understand at first. We needed to make clear the difference between being equal and having equity. Each school is unique and what works and what is needed for one will not be the same as what is needed in another to achieve student success. Our district works hard at what is best for the district , but we also need to look at each individual school. I am want to continue to be a part of this goal for Red Deer Public. I also a need to improve the safe and caring initiatives in our schools. I still here of many issues around bullying, and racial and sexual discrimination. I strongly support GSA’s and our LGBTQ community so I want to continue to be their voice. This community is great but I feel some voices are not being heard when it comes to education. I want to reach out to everyone and hear their views and goals on public education. More consultation with this community is needed. We are all in this together.|
|Question Week 1 - September 26||
How would you ensure that parents are informed and meaningfully engaged in their child's education?
As a Trustee we are liaison to 3 or 4 schools every year. The schools change every year. As a Trustee we need to attend school events and school council meeting. These are great places to talk with parents, students and staff about what the district is doing and to hear what their wants and issues are. I attend as many schools events as possible and I value the interactions I have with everyone at the schools. I also look deeply into the surveys the district does and ask questions to get clarification on specific items of concern. That information needs to be shared on the same level between the school , the district, and the parents. I believe a trustee needs to listen more than to be heard.
What changes should be made to the curriculum to best meet the needs of students?
I am so excited that the curriculum is under review. Some of the subjects have been the same for over 30 years. Our society has changed so much over the past three decades. The curriculum needs to keep current and our teachers need to have the supports to teach these changes. Coding is a subject that needs to be part of the curriculum. It will provide the basis for many areas of technology. We need to teach the kids in different ways that will give them success. What works for one child may not work for another. With that we need to provide the educators the support they need to achieve this in their classrooms. I would like to increase learning support teams in each of our schools, and to do this it will take more funding.
|Question Week 2 - October 3||
How would you ensure that resources are most effectively and efficiently allocated across the District to meet the diverse needs of all learners?
Let's start with the advocating for proper funding and resources to help our students succeed. Trustees do that on a few levels. First we have conversations with our local MLA's and the Minister of ED to inform them of our needs here in Red Deer and where money funding is needed. Next we also set policies through the Alberta School Board Association to advocate for funding on certain issues. Then we get to the local level. We receive funding on a per pupil base. A large portion of it goes towards staffing. With the remaining money we look at each school individually and check what resources they need to help with student achievement. This involves many conversations with staff and parents. We have many check points throughout the year to update the board and to ensure transparency to our community. This is where Equity not Equal comes into play. Some schools need more and we can help in their requests.
What is your position on policies related to sexual orientation and gender identity?
I have a love / hate emotion with the policy at RDPSD. I love the stories and hugs I have received from students and staff that were so happy our board was taking a stand and showing publicly our support for this issue. I heard so many stories of bullying and harassment because of a persons gender or sexual orientation. It was an honour to be part of this. I hate , and yes that is a strong word, that a policy like this even had to be made. When you come to that point where you need a policy to try and make people behave nice and act like descent caring human being it just breaks my heart. What gender or sexual orientation a person is is no one else's business and discrimination because of that is a against a persons human rights.
|Question Week 3 - October 10||
Are you in favour of one publicly funded education system?
Now I have thought long and hard about just leaving that as my response because if you google my name you will see news articles and a board motion indicating in more detail why I support One Publicly Funded Education System.
I strongly encourage everyone to pick up a copy of the magazine Alberta Views, the Sept issue. The journalists did a very goood researched based article on the argument against a dual publicly funded system. Here is just one of the articles https://albertaviews.ca/beyond-belief/
I realise this will take many , many more conversations but it can be done. In fact it has been done in other provinces. The funding saved would be better used by going back into the classrooms. What is best for children? A school system where all students are educated together and all adults share in a common practice of educating students. I believe in Public education.