I grew up in Coaldale and have lived most of my life in Coaldale and Lethbridge. I went to post-secondary school in Saskatoon, and then the University of Winnipeg where I earned both Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Arts (English) degrees. I am also a graduate of the University of Lethbridge where I attained an Education degree as well as a Master of Education (Administration) degree. I am proud to say I have been a teacher in Lethbridge for four decades!
Involvement in the community and church is very important to me as I have been actively involved with many community initiatives and organizations, including many years on the public library boards in Lethbridge and Coaldale, serving often as the Chair; currently, I am the Chair of the Galt Museum Board. As a teacher, I was active in extra-curricular activities from coaching sports teams, directing and acting in major dramatic productions, and directing choirs and bands.
The classroom and ADLC have prepared me for this role.
Statement of beliefs
With my experience on Coaldale Town Council for over 20 years, I have significant experience in working on Boards and Committees, dealing with governance and budgets; I enjoy working together as a team to create policies that will build up our communities.
Whether it’s attention to detail or putting effort into the big picture tasks that need to be done, I am willing to put my energies into providing good educational ideas to the Lethbridge School Board. My experience teaching at Immanuel Christian High School and Alberta Distance Learning Centre, have given me a unique set of skills in teaching methodology, curriculum development and production, and the implementation of engaging, interesting, and unique educational experiences.
I have learned many things through my years of teaching and learning never stops.
We need to provide opportunities where students can make positive contributions.
We need to provide opportunities to create and enable good leaders.
We need to provide resources, instruction, and staff who will validate, encourage, and develop students' potential.
Education is a powerful weapon in changing the world and we need to prepare our students so that they can succeed in their lives.
Restore confidence and respect, providing supports for students and staff, to advance learning.
Continue working to provide a curriculum to help students engage and build a love for learning .
Students and staff deserve to teach and learn in a safe place, without fear and anxiety.
Views on funding
Funding for schools should be fair and predictable. School divisions have many expenses including staffing, professional development, bussing, resources, and many other areas that need to be planned for so that all expenses can be met. In order to sensibly plan for contingencies, the Board is responsible to make sure that all aspects of schooling are carried out in a predicable, sensible, and cost effective way. The province is required to pass on the money collected by each municipality required to fund education. Every municipality collects the School portion of the taxes requisitioned by each municipality which must collect the School funding on behalf of the schools; the province is obligated to pass that money on to the school divisions in a fair and equitable way to meet the schooling needs. The per student rate has served schools well and this per student grant should follow the student. Schools have many specialty schools with special needs which school divisions must meet.
How learning conditions can be improved
Learning conditions can be improved by focusing on those things which are necessary allowing students and staff to encourage students. Edward Everett Hale said, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." Working together to create lasting success for our students and staff doesn't happen overnight, and it definitely isn't done alone. By collaborating with teachers, parents, and students alike to develop a curriculum and create a love of learning is, as I have always believed, an undertaking of the whole community. Working together to create safe places where students don't need to fear getting sick, or being bullied into thinking one way is right, where students can explore and feel comfortable and be allowed to make mistakes and learn from these mistakes is essential. We can improve learning conditions in schools by providing the resources that teachers need to increase, enhance, and expand learning opportunities for students.
How trustees and school boards can best support teachers
School boards and trustees can support teachers by providing them with the resources that they need in order to accomplish the tasks for which they have been hired. There is a continual improvement in technical resources which means that teachers need professional development in order to effectively use the resources, develop better teaching methodology, and learn how to bettter communicate to their students. I would like to see trustees meeting regularly with teacher groups to get a better understanding of each others' roles and the situation that exists. Often relationships have somewhat confrontational rather than fact-finding or understanding one another; regular meetings would help develop positive relationships.
I would also like to see better and more effective communication between the board and staff so that there is clear direction as to what the goals of the division are and how the district can achieve those goals. Communication is of paramount importance.
Views on recently released draft curriculum
The recently released draft curriculum has some areas where it needs to be improved. Developing a curriculum for all levels in such a short time means that there will be some issues. It seems that not enough time and thought has been given to aligning the content with the goals and objectives that have been established in each subject area of the curriculum. In reviewing the curriculum there are certainly many questions that relate to the pacing of material and the content of subjects for each area, the scaffolding of learning, and the sheer volume of subject matter across the spectrum. There are questions as to the age-appropriateness of the content and the readiness factor for students' learning. It seems there is quite an emphasis on rote learning instead of exploration and critical thinking. This draft, needs to be reviewed and revised by teacher practitioners currently in the field to ascertain appropriate content for each level. We need to have a curriculum that engages students.Visit website