Familiar faces back on Catholic board ballot
All Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education incumbent trustees, with the exception of Regina Durst, who is still undecided, confirmed this week they will be running in the school board election on October 16. A fifth trustee position was approved by the education minister earlier this year guaranteeing there will be at least one new voice at the table after this fall’s election.
Dick Mastel is the current chair of the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education. Mastel said he has always had a passion for education, and being a trustee is a very fulfilling way to publicly serve that cause in Medicine Hat. He is currently finishing his second term on the board.
“I like to be part of the decisionmaking locally, and I think I have some skills that are good for that,” said Mastel. “The past four years have been interesting and we have accomplished a lot as a board. It’s not every day as a trustee you get to preside over the building of a new school (St. John Paul II) and the modernization of another (Monsignor McCoy). It has been exciting.”
MHCBE’s longest serving trustee, and former chair, Peter Grad, is excited to run again this October. Grad also served on the board of directors for the Alberta School Boards Association and board of directors for Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association.
“These past 10 years have been really educational for me, and it has been a pleasure to serve,” said Grad. “The reason I want to run again of course is because I really think Catholic education is important ... I also really think I get it when it comes to understanding how boards and trustees communicate with the Alberta government.”
First-term trustee Robert Risling is a deacon in the Catholic church, and brings the strong faith-based perspective associated with this calling to his duties as a trustee. Risling felt voters appreciated his deep commitment to public service.
“I have made a lifelong commitment to serve, and I consider trusteeship an extension of my pastoral ministry,” said Risling. “So it is something I hope to continue for the next four years. This is my first term, and I have enjoyed it. Our current board I consider a privilege to be with, and we work together well. We are highly collaborative and nobody has an agenda. Our students and our staff are really our priority.”
First-term trustee Regina Durst said earlier this week she was still undecided as to whether she would run for re-election. Durst said whatever decision she comes to, it has been a privilege to serve as a trustee these past few years.
“I haven’t made a final decision but want to say it has been a privilege to work with amazing people that serve our children,” Durst said. “My main concern is to help others. I want to make sure things are running well and other people are happy. That’s how I feel fulfilled.”