CBE hope­ful says di­verse voices needed

Samantha Ma­cleod is run­ning in Wards 12/14

StarMetro Calgary - - FRONT PAGE - Lu­cie ed­ward­son Metro | cal­gary

A Cal­gary woman run­ning for pub­lic school trustee­ship in Wards 12 and 14 said a voice and per­spec­tive like hers has never been at the board ta­ble.

Samantha Ma­cleod — who owns and op­er­ates her own ac­count­ing and fi­nan­cial ser­vices busi­ness — said she thinks di­verse voices are needed at the Cal­gary Board of Ed­u­ca­tion trustee level.

Ma­cleod said her cam­paign is “pro-child” with a spe­cific in­ter­est in spe­cial needs ed­u­ca­tion and fund­ing to be more ac­ces­si­ble to chil­dren who need it. She said one way to start im­prov­ing this is by ad­vo­cat­ing to Al­berta Ed­u­ca­tion for a change in the def­i­ni­tion of al­ter­na­tive schools.

“We need to ac­tu­ally sit down and rec­og­nize which fam­i­lies are uti­liz­ing these pro­grams and what pur­pose they serve our com­mu­nity.”

Ma­cleod said she’d also ad­vo­cate chang­ing the def­i­ni­tion of al­ter­na­tive schools in or­der to deal with trans­porta­tion is­sues at the CBE.

“Those schools need to stop be­ing con­sid­ered al­ter­na­tive pro­grams — and I would fight for those not to be con­sid­ered as such by Al­berta Ed­u­ca­tion,” she said. “That kind of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the CBE and the Al­berta gov­ern­ment hasn’t ef­fec­tively hap­pened, de­spite need­ing to hap­pen sev­eral years in a row.”

Fur­ther, Ma­cleod would like to work to­wards im­prov­ing par­ent­teacher com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“Of­ten par­ents are the ex­pert on their child and teach­ers are the ex­pert on ed­u­ca­tion. Those two things can work so well to­gether when they’re work­ing,” she said. “Fig­ur­ing out how to have mu­tual re­spect be­tween par­ents and teach­ers and how much sup­port each one can ac­tu­ally give to the other is key.”

In 2012, Ma­cleod was a leader in the First 2,000 days project — an early child­hood devel­op­ment ini­tia­tive — that tested all kinder­garten stu­dents and fig­ured out a time­line for what they’d re­quire from the com­mu­nity.

Ma­cleod said she is self-fund­ing her cam­paign with a few small do­na­tions from in­di­vid­u­als, and said she’d like to see the re­moval of fund­ing from po­lit­i­cal par­ties, cor­po­ra­tions, and unions from trustee elec­tions.

We need to rec­og­nize which fam­i­lies are us­ing these pro­grams. samantha Ma­cleod

ElEc­tions cal­gary/city of cal­gary

Sa­man­tha Ma­cleod is one of nine can­di­dates in Wards 12/14.

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