Calgary·Calgary Votes 2021

Meet your candidates for public school trustee in wards 12 and 14

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.

Five people are vying for chance to represent wards 12 and 14 at CBE board table

Five candidates running in wards 12 and 14 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)
(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 12 and 14 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 five candidates running in wards 12 and 14. There is no incumbent. 

Jim Govenlock

Jim Govenlock is running for public school trustee in wards 12 and 14. (Submitted)

I am a retired educator, living in the Mahogany Community in southeast Calgary. I have also served the public as a municipal councillor and as a public school trustee.

Education is the key to the future. The world around us is changing, driven by technology. We must ensure that our education system is prepared to meet the challenge of this ongoing change; we must ensure that our children have access to an education that enables them to succeed in meeting these challenges. We must encourage our children to dream, and then we must provide the supports necessary for them to achieve their dreams. 

I have the knowledge, skills and experience that will enable me to help guide the CBE as it faces the challenges ahead. Perhaps the most important/immediate issue to address is the disruption to the education of students caused by the pandemic.  Students need to be in the classroom; to keep them there, appropriate measures must be in place to keep them and the staff safe. Supports are needed to help our students feel comfortable returning to the classroom so they can focus on learning. Programs to address the learning deficit students have experienced as a result of the pandemic must be implemented. 

Some longer-term challenges to be addressed include education funding, learning conditions in schools, curriculum and assessment, student and staff safety, and encouraging and embracing a culture of diversity in our schools.  My focus is on doing what is best for the students.

Shawn Hubbard

Shawn Hubbard is running for public school trustee in wards 12 and 14. (Submitted)

I am the Production Manager for IntraPac International, Calgary Division and have over 20 years in the manufacturing sector. I am an organized, detailed focused professional who prides himself on being successful. Over my many years, I have received multiple plant of the year honours, as well as countless safety and quality awards. 

I am originally from Ontario, but I now call Calgary my home and have for the past 12 years. I am married to my beautiful wife Kim, I am a father of three boys, Brady (6), Keegan (3) and Mack (1).

I will be open and honest about all issues that continue to appear in the school system. I believe open dialogue is the key to making the right changes.  If elected, I will be a leader for wards 12 and 14 by increasing my visibility at the Schools in the community and work tirelessly to communicate all information to the citizens in my wards. 

I will make a commitment to focusing on the following topics: safety in our schools, improving the quality of education provided, generating more funding to Improve the overall process and creating a long-term strategy that is sustainable for generations. 'Building Our Future Together' is not just a slogan, it is a way of life for me. 

Maxx Lapthorne

Maxx Lapthorne is running for public school trustee in wards 12 and 14. (Submitted)

Living through the pandemic has inspired a fresh examination of our values and priorities and I believe that now is the time to speak up for our ideals, protecting what has made Alberta Education a worldwide leader in teaching and learning and to determine what our future in schools might look like.

I would advocate for increasing health protocols in CBE schools during this fourth pandemic wave, encouraging the provincial government to abandon their recent draft curriculum, nourishing the expertise and vision of CBE educators and sustaining progressive, powerful evidence-based practices in our CBE schools.

The following life experiences make me a highly capable and enthusiastically motivated candidate to join the Calgary Board of Education trustees' circle: a master of education in curriculum and pedagogy; a former CBE teacher; a promoter of diversity; equity, and social justice; a lover of all things teaching, learning, and curriculum design; a past university instructor, evaluator, and coordinator of in-school experiences for pre-service teachers and I am an engaged parent of two CBE students.

We must emphasize that our public education system is the envy of so many because of the high value we've placed on recruiting, developing, and retaining outstanding educators and decision-makers and the fact that we have chosen to invest in properly funding this world-class resource. While there are always improvements to be made, and education is ever-changing and growing, there is no evidence to suggest that radical changes are needed at the Calgary Board of Education. 

Charlene May

Charlene May is running for public school trustee in wards 12 and 14. (Submitted)

I help children by creating and improving community spaces, volunteering locally, and nurturing creative minds. I live in Lake Chaparral with my husband and two young children who both attend the local public school.

I believe in community, accountability, and public education. Our communities deserve a trustee who attends all their meetings, communicates, engages stakeholders on issues, visits parent council meetings, and has student success at the forefront of decisions. If elected I will prioritize new schools in South Calgary. I will focus on the budget to decrease class sizes and increase educational assistants and supports. I am ready to work collaboratively with the board to address the problematic draft curriculum and continue heath measures that keep students learning in-person. I will listen and show compassion.

I am a community member through and through, volunteering extensively for my community association, parent council, and Girl Guides. Attending parent council meetings, I have learned how budgets are allocated within the CBE and individual school, worked on fundraiser, and provided feedback on the three-year education plan. I have experience working with various levels of government within my community association. I have attended Calgary city council meetings on behalf of my community for play spaces and the importance of natural areas in a proposed new development. I understand the frustration of consultation processes and would like the CBE to improve engagement policies. Your vote counts in the future of public education.

Dar Zuch

Dar Zuch is running for public school trustee in wards 12 and 14. (Submitted)

As a parent of three kids aged 5, 7 and 9, I am dedicated to their success and to the success of the kids in our community. The CBE has a tradition of excellence and is filled with world class professionals that make our schools places that we are proud of. We need to build on that by ensuring local schools have the resources they need to excel and teachers are free of distractions so they can be passionate in the classroom. Our kids deserve to have this place to excel and succeed.

In this time of pandemic, tough conversations about how schools operate are needed, particularly in younger grades, where the primary authority in the lives of our children is their parents.  When it comes to COVID-19, our schools first take their direction from AHS and then from parents.  We live in a diverse city with families of different beliefs, spiritual traditions and values.  Every effort must be made to accommodate the values of the parents for the care of their kids within our schools.

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