Calgary·Calgary Votes 2021

Meet your candidates for public school trustee in wards 11 and 13

When you head to the polls on Oct. 18, in addition to casting a vote for mayor and city councillor, you will also be voting for a school trustee.

Three people are vying for chance to represent wards 11 and 13 at CBE board table

Three candidates running in wards 11 and 13 for the Calgary Board of Education spoke with CBC News about what issues would be important to them if they were elected. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

When you head to the polls on Oct. 18, in addition to casting a vote for mayor and city councillor, you will also be voting for a school trustee. 

CBC News reached out to all the candidates for wards 11 and 13 and asked them to write their own short bio, adhering to a strict word count, introducing themselves and explaining what issues would be important to them if they were elected as school board trustee. 

There are three candidates running in wards 11 and 13. There is no incumbent. 

Shirley Anderson

Shirley Anderson is running for election as public school trustee in wards 11 and 13. (Submitted)

Why I decided to run? Advocacy is my driving force. My professional journey has brought me to this place and time. Discussing the concerns and issues of teachers and parents in the community has motivated and encourages me to run for office. I want to explore and attempt to resolve/restructure some areas of educational programming with extra funding.

How will this be done? By meeting teachers and discussing priorities. Hopefully establish a pattern of common issues. Also, to network with educational experts I have had professional liaisons with to create workable solutions of implementation with great success. It's a worthwhile effort and I am ready for the challenge. Putting more money into educational programs is not successfully addressing or resolving the daily issues teachers and students have in the classroom.

The draft proposal of the K-6 curriculum is facing enormous disapproval. My role as a trustee is not to draft or write the curriculum; rather, it's to speak up on the matter as specifically as what our children learn in the classroom.

I will be an advocate for children, assessing educational policies in terms of what is best for their development. I will work toward being a planner and goal-setter; by setting priorities and ensuring policies are within the boards authority. I will serve as a financial planner and hold the board accountable for the money spent so that it reflects the boards priorities and the combination of the needs and wishes of the community.

Nancy Close

Nancy Close is running for election as public school trustee in wards 11 and 13. (Submitted)

I'm a lifelong, passionate advocate for public education. I served as a CBE school board trustee from 1999-2007 and I currently serve as a board governor and past chair of EducationMatters — CBE's foundation for student success. 

For the past decade, I have worked with Mayor Naheed Nenshi as his community relations co-ordinator, leading files related to education, civic engagement, mental health and addiction, homelessness and poverty. 

This is a critical moment in the history of public education. CBE schools should be the best choice for Calgary families, and a community-supported system of public schools will ensure every child achieves success and completes high school. My commitment is to making Calgary a place where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, starting with our public schools. 

The provincial draft curriculum is unacceptable and must be withdrawn in favour of one that is developed collaboratively and prepares our students for the future. Our students need a modern and inclusive curriculum. 

The pandemic has revealed children face many complex, often intersecting challenges. I'm focused on ensuring the CBE partners with other governments, agencies and the broader community to tackle barriers and meet students' needs. 

Walkable neighbourhood schools are the heart of our communities, and I strongly believe school closures can be avoided by rethinking how we use civic facilities. 

Our school board needs strong representatives with experience, knowledge and compassion to advocate for our children and our larger community. I would be honoured to be your trustee for wards 11 and 13.

Hilary Sellen

Hilary Sellen is running for election as public school trustee in wards 11 and 13. (Submitted)

My passion is to provide a top quality education in a nurturing environment. Fiscal responsibility, while supporting teachers in the most beneficial ways, is crucial. Reflecting the values of parents is vital in the system.

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