Calgary·Calgary Votes 2021

Meet your candidates for public school trustee in wards 8 and 9

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 8 and 9 at CBE board table.

Four of the five candidates running in wards 8 and 9 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 8 and 9 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 8 and 9. There is no incumbent. 

David Barrett

David Barrett is running for election as public school trustee in wards 8 and 9. (Submitted)

My professional background, in scientific research, has provided me with the tools to make informed and data-driven decisions. I am a passionate volunteer that has worked tirelessly to improve Calgary through multiple successful community-driven initiatives. I am an experienced leader, a proven advocate, and I have a passion for seeing a robust public education system — the future of Calgary depends on it.

The major issues that I would like to address as a trustee are: identifying and acting on ways to create an actively anti-racist education system as well as advancing efforts of reconciliation; ensuring the long-term sustainability of developed inner-city schools; advocating for a stable, appropriate, and long-term funding model that allows for an optimal learning environment for all students; pushing back against the poorly developed and critically flawed new curriculum; and being responsive to students, teachers and parents.

It is crucial that we have a strong team of trustees to guide the CBE through these challenging times and to advocate for our students. Every school in Calgary needs to be a place where all students, regardless of their background, feel welcome, safe and included. I have the passion, experience, and drive to lead the CBE forward, and on Oct. 18 I would ask for your vote to help make this happen.

Slobodan Mladenov

Mladenov did not respond to multiple requests for information from CBC News.

Stacey Selley

Stacey Selley is running for election as public school trustee in wards 8 and 9. (Submitted)

I own a business and live in Ward 8 with my husband and our four children. I have volunteered my time over the years on various boards, and I am the current chair of the Sunalta school council. I am passionate about reworking the draft curriculum by inviting teaching experts in their fields to facilitate that process; working with 2SLGBTQ+ concerns and GSA groups; addressing systematic racism and anti-bullying; reducing class sizes; advocating for mental health supports for students and teachers; and ensuring a safe environment for all students.

I want our public school tax dollars to go toward where they are best spent — to bring innovation to our children's future and to our province. I am a candidate with children attending every level of the Calgary public school system, and I am in touch on the ground floor with what their needs are. I would love to be elected by you and given the opportunity to extend that knowledge out to wards 8 and 9.

Your kids are my kids, and our children are our future — let us help them build an even better Alberta.

Monica Truong

Monica Truong is running for election as public school trustee in wards 8 and 9. (Submitted)

I am a Vietnamese-Chinese-Canadian and came to Canada as a refugee when I was six years old. We settled in Calgary. I went to public school and graduated from the U of C. After graduation, I taught in public schools in Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia for 12 years. I was on the parent council of my daughter's school.

In 2017, I began homeschooling my two daughters. I am a co-founder and board member of the non-profit, Chinook Free Learners, volunteering there until March 2020. Now, I am the administrator for a learning pod called the Calgary Co-learning Community. I am an active member in my community, being a Block Connector and sitting on the board of the Permaculture Calgary Guild. 

I'm running for school board trustee in wards 8 and 9 because my passion is education. My three platforms are "power to our parents," "education reimagined" and "local schools matter." 

I believe our education system is a relic of the past and needs an overhaul. I support all parents in finding the best education for their child, no matter if it is public, private, charter or home school. Every parent pays taxes, so their children should benefit from it. By running for school board trustee, I hope to nudge CBE into the future. A good public school education benefits everyone. My wish is for every child to get the best education possible, in order to prepare them for a future that is uncertain but full of possibilities! 

Susan Vukadinovic

Susan Vukadinovic is running for election as public school trustee in wards 8 and 9. (Submitted)

I am running for CBE trustee in wards 8 and 9 because I believe in public education. The CBE has some of the best people in education in the country and offers one of the best education systems in the world. CBE students score among the top in international standardized tests, and we do this while spending 15 per cent less per student than comparable provinces. 

Despite the CBE's world-class standing, bashing the public-school system has become commonplace. This is why I am running. Protecting Calgary's robust public education system requires continuous improvement, and it requires a champion who has the time, energy and experience to fight hard for Calgary's kids. 

I take the CBE trustee role seriously. I entered the race in February, a full six months before any other candidates. When I see who else has entered these past few weeks, I have to say, frankly, that I am still the strongest candidate for wards 8 and 9. I have been a community leader and mobilizer for 20 years, and a long-time advocate for children, education and equity. 

I invite you to look at my website to learn more about my values, my experience and the priorities I will fight for: pushing back against the provincial government budget cuts that have led to large class sizes; advocating for the draft K-6 curriculum to be shelved; improving access to mental health supports; keeping community schools open and making schools a place of equity and inclusion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucie Edwardson

Journalist

Lucie Edwardson is a reporter with CBC Calgary, currently focused on bringing you stories related to safety on Calgary Transit. Follow her on Twitter @LucieEdwardson or reach her by email at lucie.edwardson@cbc.ca

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