Happy Thanksgiving to All!
A week today we go to the polls, and a new trustee for Ward H will pick up the public education banner in SW Edmonton.
I am excited for the new trustee and for all of you. With the new Education Act on its way for September 2015, the Board’s comprehensive policy review under way, a long-term Infrastructure strategy to be developed, and the early 2014 PRIORITIES consultation looming… there will be renewed conversations about how to enhance and improve public education in our city and province. Fantastic!
We all know that only one person can be elected as the Ward H trustee, but I want to take a moment to thank all four candidates who have stepped forward and put their lives and dreams on the line for public education during this campaign period. It takes a huge amount of work to run an election campaign and to speak with umpteen hundreds of people about vision, concerns, ideas…. Hats off to Julie, Nathan, Weslyn and Mike, and sincere thanks to them.
If you haven’t yet met these four and are not yet decided who to vote for, I encourage you to follow the links from http://catherineripley.ca/election-2013/candidates/
CORRECTION: With respect to the trustee candidate information I sent out a week ago, please note that Candidate Lanteigne also filled out the Teachers Local 37 survey.
A FEW UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 7 pm, @ George P Nicholson School as organized by Westbrook School Council
PARENTS at George P Nicholson, Greenfield, Steinhauer, Sweet Grass and Westbrook — don’t miss the chance to learn about the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) policy and how this is being implemented at your school. Hear what Anna Burn and Dr. Kris Wells have to say …
BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, APPLY to SWEY
SWEY (South West Early Years) is searching for a new Assistant. Apply by Friday! http://www.swearlyyears.ca/swey-is-looking-for-an-assistant/
MONDAY, October 21 — VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
TUESDAY, October 22, 8 pm for PARENTS
You’re invited to a teleconference with the Minister of Education. The special guest will be Dr. Glenn Feltham, President and CEO of NAIT and Chair of the Task Force for Teaching Excellence. “This is an important opportunity to learn more about the Task Force and share what you consider to be priorities as the Task Force looks for ways to ensure our kids have access to the best teachers and the best learning opportunities possible. “
How to join in: By 4 pm on October 21. Please register at: http://education.alberta.ca/resources/teleconferenceoct2013.aspx
FINALLY, THANK YOU!
This will be my last public communique as a trustee.
Although the current Board is still in charge until the new Board is sworn in in early November, once Election Day is over, the focus and attention will be on the new Board…and rightly so. Your new trustee-elect will receive a series of orientation sessions in the interim period between Election Day and Organizational Board, which will help him or her hit the ground running as part of the 2013-2017 Board of Trustees.
I will, therefore, take this opportunity to first express my thanks to YOU for your interest in public education issues and happenings over the last six years. And thank you to all those who attended my community meetings – your presence and ideas around strengthening families, innovative citizenship education, improving communication, district priorities, the Education Act, healthy schools and healthy communities, student assessment, and the planning principles were inspirational.
Second, I would also like to thank the people who had confidence in my ability to serve the constituents of Ward H as trustee long before I ever had this confidence in myself. These people inspired me to run, worked hard to get me elected in 2004 (when I lost) and again, in 2007 (when I won). They were ready to support me again in 2010 (when I was acclaimed), and they have supported me throughout my trusteeship with questions, concerns, ideas, moral support! I have been humbled by their commitment and help.
….former Parents as Partners oganizer Elaine Decker and former Trustee Lynn Odynski, both of whom provided mentorship and ecouragement
…all those involved with the Whitemud Coalition of Schools, the Edmonton Advocates for Public Education and APPEAL (Albertans Promoting Public Education and Learning)
…all those who walked 25,000 flyers for me in the 2004 and 2007 campaigns, put signs on their lawns, hosted coffee parties, donated money, advocated for me, etc. etc. etc.
… my 2004 and 2007 campaign co-chairs Marlene Haymour and Cheryl Miller, and my 2010 campaign chair Pat Sawatzky along with Barbara-Jean Lake-Ramnath who was going to organize all the flyer delivery.
Third, I would like to thank those within Edmonton Public Schools and the public education community at large as well as those in community who mentored and helped me during my two terms as trustee. I have learned so much! Thank you!
…all the wonderful Ward H principals who welcomed me so warmly into their schools and their amazing staff members.
…former Superintendent Edgar Schmidt and his team (especially Bruce Coggles, Tash Taylor, Sandra Stoddard, and Anne Sherwood)
…all the trustees I served with on the Board plus the trustees I got to know through the Public School Boards Association of Alberta and the Alberta School Boards Association (in particular, Zone 2/3)
…the Board of Governors for the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation
…the South West Elected Officials group (all those serving SW Edmonton in an elected capacity — either as MP, MLA, Councillor or Trustee)
…the people I served with on the Community Sustainability Task Force, which produced the Elevate Report
…the geographic communities and communities of interest who welcomed me into their events and/or meetings either regularly or from time to time (SWAC, TRAC, SEBA, Wichitowin Education Action Circle, South West Early Years, SW Community Leagues, Ward H School Councils, SWESA, SWCN, Edmonton Council of Women, Multicultural Coalition, and I hope I haven’t forgotten anybody)
…the STUDENTS! whom I have watched perform or receive their diplomas or awards, who contributed art for my office, who listened attentively during Read In Week, who toured me around their school, etc. etc. etc.
Fourth, I would like to thank Tim Chesterton and my St. Margaret’s Anglican Church family for keeping me grounded in God’s love, and for all the prayers and support over the years
And last but not least, I would like to thank my family.
…my mum and dad who never saw me step into this public service role but who certainly inspired me with their long service to Canada as a naval couple from 1936 through 1964,
…my brothers and sisters as well as my “in law” siblings and parents who have maintained an ongoing interest in my activities, with special thanks to my big brother David who flew twice from Ontario to help with my campaigns, to my brother-in-law Doug for his financial support over the years (and loaning me his super house for campaign parties), and to my niece-in-law Tracey for her design skills and support,
…my children who have helped and encouraged their mum in many, many ways too numerous to list here, but here are a few — Owen for his encouragement to run in the first place and for setting up my website (and Shannon his now wife, who arrived in Edmonton to meet us for the very first time in 2007 and promptly got put to work delivering flyers); Phoebe for her miles and miles of flyer delivery, attending public education events off and on with me throughout my trusteeship, and for often sparkling up and cleaning our home; Robin for delivering flyers, drawing a picture of me as Super Trustee, and for helping set up the Ward H Public School Trustee Candidate Cafe just recently,
…my husband Bruce – my very own personal sign-maker and sign installer (even in the snow — 2004!), and the best “first guy” any elected official could ever have. He always listened with patience as I talked out loud about the upcoming votes and issues of the day (and I talked a lot!). He helped me put things in perspective, he put up with my periodic sleeplessness, and at one very low point in my trusteeship, he insisted that I would be totally wrong to give up and resign. He was right! He attended some key events with me on a regular basis and he took me to the woods on most Sundays for fresh air and fun. Thank you, my love.
I wish everyone all the best and a continued strong interest in all things public education. It has been an honour and a privilege. Thank you.