Q&A – Candidates For Separate School Trustees

Pipestone Flyer

1. What is your main reason for running in this election?

2. Alberta is the richest province in Canada, but we do not have sustained funding for our public education system. Presently funding for public education has been reduced even though enrollment has increased. Some have suggested that if instead of a flat tax, Alberta returned to an indexed system of taxation dependent on income, public education could be adequately funded consistently instead of being dependent on oil revenue. What will you do as a trustee to ensure all children in the district have access to high quality education?

3. Presently in Alberta, Catholic education is part of the public school system. Why do you think this is important?

Candidates running in Wetaskiwin for St.Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School District.

Two out of three to be elected on October 21st.

Angela Greenidge’s reply:

1a. I am a lover of education and kids. I was led by the Holy Spirit to continue that quest and that hunger.

1b. I want to continue to serve to help our kids get the best education we can afford. 

1c.To improve communication, collaboration and trust among all district stakeholders.

1d. To help prepare our kids to be college and workforce ready. 

1e. A district that can provide top notch education for our children.

2.  As a trustee, Alberta Kids is you, but I know that I cannot get there without your help. I think it is important that each of us provides hands on help by mentoring students and encouraging them to become the best that they can be and to become responsible productive citizens.

    Additionally, voting is such an important factor in determining where our school district will be in the next 2 plus years and it is vital that you support our Catholic Schools future by casting your ballot for the right leadership. We need to find ways to work within our budget that allows us to provide student success in college and career while dealing with a budget shortfall.

3. It is important that parents know that Catholic education is part of the public system and it is free.  We are not a school for Catholic children, but a Catholic school for kids providing top notch education to prepare our kids to be college and workforce ready. We cannot take Catholic education for granted just because we live in Alberta. We are advocates for children and parents, we empower teaches and educators and we are a strong presence in thousands of school and communities across the country, and to teach children the Christian way of life.

John Tomkinson’s reply:

 

1. As the proud parent of six young children, with four currently attending Sacred Heart School in Wetaskiwin, I have a passion and a vision for our Catholic education system. Working collaboratively with fellow trustees, I want to see our division continue to flourish and grow. Through prayer, community encouragement, reflection, and discernment, it became clear that running for re-election for the Catholic School Board Trustee position was where I could best use my skills and talents for the betterment of our community right now. I wish to work co-operatively on the board for the promotion and development of Catholic education both in Wetaskiwin and our larger community.

     Alberta is the richest province in Canada, but we do not have sustained funding for our public education system. Presently funding for public education has been reduced even though enrollment has increased. Some have suggested that if instead of a flat tax, Alberta returned to an indexed system of taxation dependent on income, public education could be adequately funded consistently instead of being dependent on oil revenue. What will you do as a trustee to ensure all children in the district have access to high quality education?

2. This is a great question and an ongoing concern for anyone currently involved in education in Alberta. As a passionate advocate for our children, families and schools, I believe that sustainable funding is not enough. In order to properly plan and manage our school system resources the best way possible for our children and communities, we need sustainable and predictable funding for education. With my past experience on the Finance and the Long Range Planning committees for St.Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division, I see firsthand where these challenges lay. As a Trustee I will continue to passionately advocate for the necessary resources to maintain our historically established high quality Catholic education.

3. The history and foundation of Alberta has included multiple educational choices for families since we joined Canada. The first schools in Alberta were organized, owned and operated by Church clergy. Today this model continues to afford opportunities for parental and student choice, and I believe this is one of the many reasons we have a globally top ranked education system. Having a separate Catholic system as a partner in public education is in the public interest in developing our youth into fully participating members of society. A central focus of Catholic education is our approach to educating the entire student, informing not just the mind, but body and soul as well. I believe this aspect is critical in building a better future for all Albertans. Catholic education has always been an indispensable partner in Alberta, and will continue to be so under the guidance of informed and passionate Trustees.

Henry Effon’s reply:

1. My main reason for running for re-election for trustee is because I believe in children and families. The key to successful families is good education. I believe that we all have a responsibility to help our children get the education they need. I also want to be a part of the decision making process and a voice advocating for solutions relevant to local issues.

2. I will work with parents and educators to find solutions to our fiscal challenges in funding education. Today’s issues require a collaborative approach to problem solving.  I will continue to advocate for essential programs and service that is reflective of high quality education, and being mindful of local needs.    

3. Catholic Education is constantly under scrutiny for being publicly funded. It is important to continue to advocate for Catholic Education as a choice and a right, this is supported in Canon law for forming the whole person.  I attended Catholic schools growing up in Africa, and I will support Catholic Education existence for generations to come.