Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools City of Wetaskiwin candidate profiles

Five candidates running for WRPS City of Wetaskiwin position

Courtesy of Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools will hold two elections on Oct. 16 for the City of Wetaskiwin and Division 1.

Due to time constraints, the Pipestone Flyer will not provide coverage of acclaimed candidates until after the election.

Leanne Axelsen

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

Two specific areas of focus for me would be increasing student / teacher support in the classrooms and making room for assisting student learning barriers that aren’t traditionally recognized specifically with grief, trauma and loss.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of school trustee?

Though I have lived in this community for 14 years I will bring a fresh perspective to the board. My children are in the school system and as a parent I have been very invested in their school and classes. I was also married to a teacher for 12 years and have an appreciation for the work that is done in the classroom. I also have fostered good relationships with many teachers, staff and administration within this school district and I believe that mutual respect would be an asset.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

My vision is for a cohesive and effective board that has the confidence of our voters and can collaborate to tackle the issues facing education now. My late husband (and) I were always passionate about learning; and he left some big shoes to fill. Now I want to use my skill set to continue his legacy in education.

Donna Hogg

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

I am increasingly concerned about the mental health of our students. Students are coming to school hungry, tired and a lot of them are experiencing unhappy home life. Our students are growing up in an era where both parents are working, or are in single parent homes and children have to cope with growing up without all of the essential supports in place.

Even though there are anti-bullying programs in place, there are students experiencing bullying and feel they have no place to turn. We need to communicate with everyone, parents, school administrators, teachers and students. I believe that teachers are increasingly being tasked to deal with complex situations that are beyond the classroom. I would like to see the board work collaboratively with teaching staff to utilize the new classroom Improvement Fund. I would also like to stress communication, we can’t fix what we don’t know about.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of school trustee?

I am a fair-minded team player, a good listener and a genuine hard worker. I care deeply about our youth of today and want to provide the best school learning environment for each and everyone of the students of Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

I have had experience in school board administration and also as a trustee. I know the system and I am willing to lobby at the provincial level for the needs of our staff and students.

Barb Johnson

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

During this next term, I hope to encourage Students to participate and contribute their thoughts and ideas to the School Board and to the Provincial Government. Curriculum is currently under review and it is a massive undertaking that will involve stakeholders from all walks of life.

I would like to see the RAP Program grow and flourish and this will mean cooperation with our City and County Councilors in all areas of the Jurisdiction. I believe that we need to find meaningful opportunities for our students to experience success; and to gain positive and marketable skills.

I have lobbied long and hard to ensure that the Rural MLA’s are aware of the growing need for Mental Health and Wellness workers in our Rural Communities. These services are essential to our Students and our Families and the issues that prevent access are growing at a very rapid rate. There needs to be cooperation between Alberta Health Services, Family &Community Services, Youth Justice and the School Division to ensure that we are supporting our at-risk students.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of school trustee?

I believe that I have a strong commitment to the students in our Division; weighing the balance between the WANTS and the NEEDS has always been a challenge for the Board. Helping the community at large understand what is possible and since each and every one of our schools is a ‘community’ in and of itself the Board does have to make some decisions as a whole and yet leave room for the Administration and School/Parent Council to decide on the things that important to them.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

I believe that School Boards are an integral part of our Communities and will continue to lobby for the Local Autonomy that has and continues to be challenged by the Provincial Government. Since we now know that the current Government of Alberta is looking at Amendments to existing School Act we will need to be mindful of how they choose to present these Amendments.

Jayne Pettifor

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

I believe our school division does a good job supporting student success, but I would like to see it do a great job. One of our opportunities for this is, our schools are becoming more demographically diverse, and we will need to ensure that all our students are being set up for success. We will need to find new ways to focus our resources to help students develop strong language, literacy, and numeracy skills.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of school trustee?

I have had the good fortune of being a teacher here in Wetaskiwin for the past 33 years, and in all of my work, I always strive to achieve student success. Stakeholders in student success are, essentially, everyone. While all of us share the same end goal, we often have some different ideas of how to get there. The practice I have had in finding thoughtful and focused strategies for individual learners would serve me well as a trustee. Navigating decisions about education requires experience and a deep respect for their impact. I have both.

Good teachers never stop learning, and taking time to listen to the hopes and concerns of community members as we move forward together that is exactly what I plan to do.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

My students, fellow parents, and neighbours for the past three decades have been folks who work hard and band together to get things done. I want to continue working to make Wetaskiwin that inclusive and positive place to be and it would be an honour to serve as school trustee.

Amanda Rule

What positive, student-centered ideas do you have for moving Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools forward in its vision of student success in the next four years?

With my children starting in the school system, I have a lot that I need to learn potentially going into this position, which I am more than willing to do. We have some major changes in the last year to our schools. I think we will have some growing pains as everyone gets settled. With that being said I think coming into this position there are some areas that need to be addressed.

This year I have seen some classes lacking the support of staff needed, which I believe needs to be addressed or at least explained. I would also like to see the Jr. Highs have more accessibility to more option classes. I think compared to other communities we are lacking in that area.

What do you feel are the most important qualities you bring to the role of school trustee?

I feel qualities that are most important to my potential role of a school trustee are my involvement in the community, my ability to listen and communicate to the concerns in the community regarding our schools. I also believe it is an asset to have my own children in the school system, you are seeing these issues and areas that are needing improvement first hand.

What other information do you want people to know about you?

I have lived in Wetaskiwin the majority of my life. I want to be involved and know that the students are getting the best education they can. I feel very passionate about giving back what I can to the community I want to raise my family in.

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