All for­mer trustees in SD76 vy­ing for seats again

Medicine Hat News - - ELECTION 2017 - TIM KALINOWSKI tkali­nowski@medicine­hat­news.com Twit­ter: MHNTimKal

All Medicine Hat Pub­lic School Di­vi­sion No. 76 in­cum­bent trustees con­firmed this week they will be run­ning in the school board elec­tion on Oct. 16.

Rick Massini

In mid-Au­gust, SD76 board chair Rick Massini told the News some of his rea­sons for want­ing to run again.

“We’ve come to a very good spot in ed­u­ca­tion in Medicine Hat,” he said. “I would just like to con­tinue the work we started. ‘Chil­dren first’ is a motto I have used for a long time in my ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion. I want to make sure chil­dren have a safe, car­ing place to go to school.”

Terry Ri­ley

Long-time trustee, and for­mer board chair, Terry Ri­ley said he is run­ning again in the Oc­to­ber elec­tion — de­spite suf­fer­ing deep per­sonal loss with the pass­ing of his wife ear­lier this sum­mer — be­cause he can’t stand the thought of cer­tain spe­cial in­ter­est groups com­ing into the elec­tion to hi­jack the board’s agenda.

“I am kind of wor­ried about the po­ten­tial dam­age cer­tain groups could cause our school dis­trict by some of the ac­tions they pro­pose to take,” said Ri­ley. “I fear peo­ple who try to dis­tract us from our pri­mary goal of ed­u­cat­ing kids, and that should be what our only goal is: To make sure every kid who comes to our schools gets a chance at a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion ... We have put in place poli­cies to pro­tect kids, and we think it is vi­tal those poli­cies re­main,” added Ri­ley, re­fer­ring to the board’s Gen­der Iden­tity and Sex­ual Ori­en­ta­tion Pol­icy 622.

Cather­ine Wil­son-Fraser

SD76 board vice-chair Cather­ine Wil­sonFraser said she proudly stands by her record of the past five years as she seeks re-elec­tion in Oc­to­ber. The lo­cal busi­ness owner has chil­dren still in the school sys­tem, and says this in­forms her per­spec­tive very strongly when she sits at the board­room ta­ble with other trustees.

“We are all about the kids in our dis­trict,” said Fraser. “Our job is to find the best pro­grams and be there for the kids to en­sure they are go­ing to be great lead­ers of to­mor­row ... We have two brand new schools. We have Hat High, which has just been mod­ern­ized. We have worked very hard at cre­at­ing safe, car­ing and wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ments. And, in par­tic­u­lar, I am proud of Pol­icy 622, which I think we have worked hard to come to agree­ments on all ends to make it a work­able pol­icy so we can be open to both our par­ents and our kids.”

Deb­o­rah Forbes

Ed­u­ca­tor Deb­o­rah Forbes was first elected to the SD76 board in 1993. She said her 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence on the board is an as­set, and her pas­sion for qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion con­tin­ues to drive her as a trustee. “Each of us on the board has a fo­cus on ex­actly what we should be do­ing, which is help­ing our 7,200 stu­dents to learn,” said Forbes. “I want to say to the vot­ers I will bring my ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with many dif­fer­ent govern­ments and many dif­fer­ent min­is­ters of ed­u­ca­tion. We are mov­ing into a new his­tor­i­cal con­text with teach­ing and learn­ing. I want to con­tinue to put my en­er­gies into the mir­a­cle of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.”

Carolyn Free­man

First-term trustee Carolyn Free­man says she is ex­cited to run again in the up­com­ing board elec­tions. She feels she has learned a lot dur­ing the past four years, and wants to con­tinue to work with her fel­low board mem­bers to en­sure all SD76 stu­dents have what they need to achieve a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and start their lives out on a good foot.

“As a trustee, you want to con­tinue to use what you have learned and build on that ex­pe­ri­ence,” ex­plained Free­man. “There have been some very re­ward­ing and won­der­ful con­ver- sa­tions we have had over the last four years. And there are some more yet to come. I think I have some­thing to of­fer, and a dif­fer­ent, and valu­able, point of view. I love to lis­ten and I love to learn.”

Cather­ine Wil­son-Fraser

Carolyn Free­man

Deb­o­rah Forbes

Rick Massini

Terry Ri­ley

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